Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Fireside Book Shop - Chagrin Falls, OH

Fireside Book Shop, Chagrin Falls, OH
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A funny thing happened on the way to the Fireside Book Shop.  I had planned to be here 10 months ago and had already contacted the store that I was on my way to visit.  Unfortunately, I had to take a detour via a Cleveland Clinic hospital so the "celebrity" could get some medical attention.  Thankfully, all was well and the 10-month delay was more than worth the wait to see this incredible indie in downtown Chagrin Falls.

I think bookstores like this need to be recognized for their longevity, their survival, their service to the community, and their success.  Fireside began as a women-owned bookstore in 1963, back in a time when some people might not have been supportive of this endeavor.  It is still women owned today by co-owners Jean B. and Lori M., in their 2nd year of ownership and in its current location since 1967.  Both have a history with the store prior to ownership and for Jean, it goes back over 20 years.  The original ownership offered only new books but now you'll find a strong inventory of new and used books in a 3-level space at a perfect downtown location that has very busy foot traffic, surrounded by many local businesses.  Additionally, you'll find a healthy dose of sidelines including greeting cards, jigsaw puzzles, journals of all kinds, and lots of book totes and bags.  As Valerie, one of the booksellers told me, they cram a lot of stuff into their three floors.  Despite that, I didn't feel it was uncomfortable for browsing in the least.  Customers who bring in their books receive a generous store credit in return.  I especially enjoyed hearing about the store's great partnerships with many of the local schools.  They also have an extensive children's section up on the 3rd floor including a room devoted strictly for pre-schoolers.  I think a room like this is a great idea for indies that have the space.

I hit the jackpot on my visit and met both Jean and Lori, along with Valerie.  These people are one of the many reasons I enjoy this journey so much.  They are absolutely the best to meet and visit with.  Good grief, is it any wonder this store enjoys a solid core of regulars?!  

Wonderful people, a Chagrin Falls tradition, easy parking, and dog-friendly (I should've brought the TIBS staff dog,  Getty T.).  If you're anywhere near Cleveland or passing through, take your own detour to this splendid bookstore that's been getting it right since 1963.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The Gods Of Gotham, Lyndsay Faye.  Didn't finish.  I couldn't get into this one at all and struggled with the writing.  But if you like historical fiction about 1850 NYC, give it a try.  Just did not work for me.  

CURRENTLY READING:  The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander.  

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Educating Esmé: Diary Of A Teacher's First Year, Esmé Raji Codell.   Not purchased but gifted, a Fireside Book Shop tote bag.  Thanks Jean.   

One of the front window displays.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

Looking to the left from the front entrance.  A wonderful display of staff selections.  

Just a few of the jigsaw puzzles offered inside the front entrance.  You'll find more throughout the store.  

New arrival display to the right after entering the store.  

Follow this long book aisle and then enter another room of books in the back of the store.  

A beautiful spiral staircase inaccessible to human traffic but a great place to display books of current interest.  

A variety of boxed greeting cards.  

 Just a few of the greeting cards available.  

18 feet long, 6 feet tall, and 32,000 pieces.  Here you go puzzle experts!

This is the back room of books on the main floor.  Diligent readers may recognize the celebrity on the left.  Yes, that's my mom.  

If you're on a budget, find these bins in the back room.  

Just a few of the books available of local and regional interest.  

The stairway up from the first floor, lined with a huge selection of book tote bags.  

Overview of a beautiful store looking down from the stairway and toward the front entrance.  

Overview of the room on the second floor, the fireside room.  

Looking across the room on the 3rd floor, children's section.  

Looking into the Fireside Room on the 2nd floor from the children's section on the 3rd floor.  

Staff picks display in the children's section, including middle grade and YA books.  

This is the view looking into the pre-school room.  

This room includes school reading books, college guides, reference, and foreign language instruction.  

This is the view from the 3rd floor looking toward the Fireside Room and then down on the main floor to the checkout counter where you'll put your book purchases in your purchased tote bag.  

If you're a regular and haven't read this book yet, you can pick it up here at Fireside Book Shop.  

With Jean on the left and Lori in the middle, the two fine co-owners at Fireside Book Shop.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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