Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Liberty Bay Books - Poulsbo, WA

Liberty Bay Books, Poulsbo, WA
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Readers, go to the dictionary and look up the word, "energetic."  If there's a picture by the entry it might just be Suzanne D., owner of Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo.  This woman was a dynamo on the day of my visit ringing up customers, answering the phone, finding books, hosting Waldo hunters, and even advising a couple from the state of New York who are considering opening a bookstore.  Multi-tasking at its finest!  But as I've learned on this journey, this tends to be the rule rather than the exception among these terrific people who own bookstores.

I don't know how this bookstore could have a better location.  Its corner location in downtown historic Poulsbo is surrounded by multiple small businesses with excellent foot traffic.  That foot traffic includes many locals who understand the importance of shop local as well as tourists, including many from Europe.  When these customers enter Liberty Bay Books they're going to see a one-level space that is chock-full of inventory.  If you can't find something, you're not trying.  Of course they have a large inventory of mostly new books and a few used.  The sidelines offered are very diverse as you'll see from some of the pictures below.  For as many indies that I've visited, I still see things I've never seen before.  Mini Twister game with finger socks, dog butt magnets, and Poo-Pourri Before You Go toilet spray can all be found here.  If you go to the back of the store, you'll find a cute cafe and can enjoy a coffee while you browse.

Liberty Bay is well-established, Suzanne and the store have been here for 22 years.  That longevity is evident with the store's partnership with local schools.  They also host events, with the smaller ones held in the store and larger events held in the local library.

Suzanne was great to meet and if you have a question, she'll have an answer.  But be prepared, she's a whirlwind of energy and she'll keep you on your toes with a terrific bookstore experience.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Wolf Hollow, Lauren Wolk.  11-year old Annabelle becomes friends with a WWI vet living in the backwoods of 1943 rural Pennsylvania.  Her life is challenging because of a bully she encounters daily on the way to school.  A tragedy occurs and the lives of these two people intersect in a way that will really drive you nuts.  This book is probably classified as a middle-grade reader but there are many in this category suited for readers of all ages and this is one of them.  Outstanding.  Recommended.

CURRENTLY READING: The Modigliani Scandal, Ken Follett.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman.


View of a beautiful bookstore from across the street.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

View looking to the right from the front entrance.  

Shelf display of what some of the bookclubs are reading.  I always enjoy seeing these.  

Only at an independent bookstore.  

Find this book cart for some great bargains.  

Check out the book shelf of staff favorites.  

Many indies offer unique bookstore magnets (if you want to see some REALLY unique magnets, continue scrolling down).  

Find this bookshelf for the indie bestsellers.  

Many independent bookstores and small businesses around the country had a Where's Waldo promotion in July.  Kids love this.  

Now this is my kind of chair.  Big enough for me and lots of books to try out.  

Check out this display to find out what books are included in The Great American Read.


Unique socks can be found in many bookstores.  

Partial view of the cafe seating area.  

Books and coffee, a perfect fit.  

Another partial view of the cafe.  

A few of the books of regional interest.  

A great cause at this indie.  

Greeting cards can be found in many places throughout the store.  


More staff picks.  

Plan ahead for an upcoming book.  

Make a gift basket of this and the Poo-Pourri.  

Display of recent non-fiction.  

A partial view of the children's section.  

An unbelievably unique sideline.  

With Suzanne, the fine owner at Liberty Bay Books.  Thanks for a great visit.  


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Garcia Street Books - Santa Fe, NM

Garcia Street Books, Santa Fe, NM
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Even though I've now visited over 300 indies I continue to have new and exciting experiences.  When I began this journey, I didn't know about all the great episodes I would have and the wonderful people I would meet.  I knew I would meet congenial owners and booksellers but it didn't dawn on me all the kindred spirit bookstore customers I would meet.  Garcia Street Books is not only a terrific bookstore with a very nice bookseller, Liana, but it also attracts some wonderful customers.  People like Martha and Kyla, mild-mannered customers in their spare time and writers during other times (Oh dear God if they're reading this please let me have good grammatical structure for once.).  These women were an absolute delight to meet and talk to about bookstores and all things books.  THIS is one of the best things about my journey!

But I digress.  Garcia Street Books is a cozy, intimate one-level shop in the near downtown of Santa Fe.  The store offers all new books and a few sidelines.  The uniquely made hats by Maribeth, one of the booksellers, sell very well.  You'll also find locally created works of pottery as well as greeting cards and journals but it's mostly about the books.  They have a fine section of books of regional interest and I also thought their art book section was very good.  It's conveniently located beside other local businesses with a small, free parking lot and there is an excellent coffee shop right next door, a plus for both businesses.  

Garcia Street is on a great run and has been here for about 25 years.  They enjoy lots of regular customers and lots of tourists, a good recipe for a successful run.  Jean D., is the current owner and has only been here for about a year.  I'm glad to report, as Liana told me, things are going great.  It's obvious to me that Santa Fe is a great book and bookstore town with a very supportive community.

Liana was as nice and welcoming as anyone I've met.  It's people like her and customers like Martha and Kyla who become part of my journey and make it so memorable.  That's why I ALWAYS encourage you to visit your local indie.  The books are great but the people are the best.  Put Garcia Street Books on your list for a wonderful bookstore experience.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.  

JUST FINISHED:  My Absolute Darling, Gabriel Tallent.  Dark and depressing.  The subject matter included incest which made it difficult along with the author's superfluous sentences describing the flora, fauna, and landscape of northern California.  This novel didn't flow for me.   

CURRENTLY READING:  Wolf Hollow, Lauren Wolk.  

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  El Hermano, Carmen Baca.  Mrs. Mo's Monster, Paul Beavis.  The Outlandish Companion, Diana Gabaldon.    


When you see this sidewalk sign, enter the store!

A nice display of bargains to browse before you enter.  



Great customer service...
... that is offered at many independent bookstores.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  There are actually two entrances, I entered through the one on the left.  


A wonderful overview of the store scanning toward the right from the front entrance.  

Bookbags and greeting cards.  

A long wall of books with a few greeting cards sprinkled in.  

The Santa Fe Opera is nationally renowned, local fans will find this display of interest.  

Some of the locally created pottery available.  

Get a "one-of-a-kind" hat created by Maribeth, one of the booksellers.  

A portion of the books on travel.  

A few of the books of local and regional interest.  

A very attractive table display of recent releases.  Habitual readers may recognize the celebrity in the background enjoying a seat for browsing.  Yes, that's my mom.  

If any bookstore has a display that says, "Great Buys," check it out.  

Or if it says 40% off, check it out.  

A portion of the children's section.  

A very comfortable little seat for a little reader.  


Two great places to sit and enjoy sampling a book.  

It takes more than one table display to hold all the new release fiction.  

A great activity for car travel.  

Another long wall of books.  

A variety of journals available.  

If you're a Louise Penny fan, they've got you covered.  

A broad overview of the store looking from the back toward the front.  

With Liana, one of the fine booksellers you'll meet at Garcia Street Books.  Thanks for a great visit.