Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Book Shop - Nashville, TN

The Book Shop, Nashville, TN
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As many of you know, the beauty of independent bookstores is that they are all different, no two alike.  This indie is a simply stated yet beautiful small space.  What struck me here was that simple beauty attractively displayed with its lighting, their fixtures, and the organization.  The Book Shop is small in stature but big in charm and customer appeal.  The day of my visit was a week day morning shortly after opening and the place was crowded and busy.  As Joelle H., the owner told me, things are going very well and now I can see why.

This little charmer is located in a busy retail and neighborhood area of East Nashville.  The business has been going for three years and 1 1/2 years now in its second location.  Joelle's goal in moving here was to make the store more of a neighborhood bookstore and from what I can see she's accomplished that goal.  Surprisingly, despite the large apartment complex across the street the store doesn't see many customers from there.  But Joelle did tell me that much of the customer base comes from nearby.  The store sits adjacent to an equally cute coffeeshop allowing for a great partnership.  You can reach either business from separate outside doors or an inside passage.  I love Joelle's philosophy for the curation of her inventory.  The store offers all new books, many of which may not be available at chain bookstores or discount department stores.  Like The Book Shop, many indies offer a wonderful breadth of inventory which contributes to the positive experience that cannot be duplicated online.  Well done, Joelle.

The bookstore's strategy for events differs slightly from some indies.  Events here are more customer based rather than author based.  In other words, getting people into the store.  They offer a children's story time, and adult story time, book clubs, and lit trivia nights.  One of my favorite things here is the silent book club.  This is gaining traction in parts of the country and the premise is very simple.   You go to the bookstore or coffee shop and read your book silently in the company of others for an hour or two.  A meeting of the minds or at the least, kindred spirits.

There are few sidelines here and Joelle told me that things are going well with mostly just the books.  A pleasant store, with an uber pleasant owner, and a lot of terrific books that you never knew were out there.  Come on over apartment people, you're going to love this place.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  An American Marriage, Tayari Jones.  Roy and Celestial are a young African-American couple, married for just a year and a half.  Things were going ok until Roy was wrongly convicted and incarcerated for a crime he didn't commit.  The marriage drifts apart and Celestial becomes attracted to one of their common friends, Andre.  This book is relevant in the current climate of wrongly incarcerated African-Americans and the toll it takes on families and relatives.  I enjoyed this one.  Recommended.  

CURRENTLY READING:  The Haunted Bookshop, Christopher Morley.  

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Great Believers, Rebecca Makkai.  Who Pooped? A Matching and Memory Game, ages 3+.  

Partial view of the apartment complex right across the street from the bookstore.  Hey apartment people, look out your windows across the street.  You're missing out on a great bookstore right under your noses.  

Front display window.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

I love the overhead lighting in the store but cannot explain why the lights appear yellow in this picture but white in the previous one.  

Looking to the right just after entering and a relevant display for Pride month.  

A few of the children's books available.  

A nice place to sit and sample a book.  

Neatly arranged table display.  

I love the light fixtures along the shelves.  

Don't "show room."  Taking pictures of books to buy online later.  You could place this message in every single independent bookstore.  

Go to the back of the store and take a right will place you at this hallway into the coffeeshop.  

View looking into the coffee shop.  
I love this!  On the floor of the hallway between the coffeeshop and the bookstore.  

Assortment of sidelines at the checkout counter.  

Overview of the store looking from the back toward the front entrance.  Discerning readers may recognize the celebrity seated in the background sampling a book.  Yes, that's my mom.  

That Bookshop tote bag will come in handy for all the books you'll be getting.  

Looking toward the front entrance along the wall of books.  

Coffee addicts will appreciate these.  

With Joelle, the fine owner at The Book Shop.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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