Thursday, September 18, 2014

Nicola's Books - Ann Arbor, MI

Nicola's Books - Ann Arbor, MI

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Finally, there is hope for all my engineering friends!  Every book, bookstore, indie owner, has its story. Every story I hear on my journey is unique and almost always interesting.  Nicola's Books is no different.  There is actually a Nicola here at Nicola's Books and I was lucky to meet her this day because the store is soon changing ownership.  She has been here for almost 20 years but will begin a new chapter in her life.  Her chapter as a bookstore owner is coming to an end but what was the chapter BEFORE that?  Why, chemical engineering of course.  Doesn't every engineer trace that kind of career path?  She left chemical engineering to own and run a bookstore and I'm sure that her community and staff are so very glad that she made that decision.

Nicola's Books is a one level bookstore located in a strip mall area in Ann Arbor.  This indie has lots of parking and it's all free, a welcomed perk compared to some of my indie visits.  This store has a great inventory of books; 1/3 children's, 1/3 fiction, and 1/3 all other genres.  But if you can't find a book you have lots of other options.  Lots of gift items, jewelry, games, boxed card sets, greeting cards, tons of magazines, and tons of cool stuff for kids.  You WILL find something here.  Heck, I even bought a trick golf ball to amuse and annoy my friends.  The customer base here is almost entirely local and Nicola is engaged deeply in this community.  Lots of author events in the store as well as many children's events and activities.  When the kids enter, all they have to do is follow the blue foot prints back to their area or the story time area.

I enjoyed talking to Nicola and Fiona, a staffer, this day.  I think Nicola probably spent more time with me than she was comfortable with because, after all, she has a bookstore to run.  And you can tell she's very good at it, extremely knowledgeable, very energetic, and pretty much all business here.  Everything you want in a successful indie owner.  As for Fiona, good grief, she gave me even more indie bookstores to visit and add to my journey.  Both of these people were wonderful to talk to during my visit.  There's also Max who wasn't working this day.  Max is a dog that comes in occasionally and patrols the lower shelves here at Nicola's.

A couple of Nicola's book recommendations to me were about UM football.  I did my undergrad at the University of Iowa so just couldn't pull the trigger on the UM football stuff.  If you're a UM fan, you'll have lots of great choices.  No worries though, she gave me other great recommendations that will be added to the unread pile.  She'll do the same for you when you visit.  The new owners are book people so this strong indie isn't going anywhere.  And it will be easy to find because it will still be called Nicola's Books.  Don't miss a chance to visit this great independent bookstore.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Martian, Andy Weir.  It needs to kick in for me or I'll be aborting the mission.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  A Discovery Of Witches, Deborah Harkness.  Book 1 of a trilogy.  I'm curious about this one.  Sheep In A Jeep, Nancy Shaw. A short, well-illustrated kids book written by the author who wrote the essay about Nicola's for My Bookstore.  A great book to read to your pre-schooler.

View to the right of the store after entering.  Conscientious readers may recognize the celebrity on the right sprinting to the books.  Yes, that's my mom.  

Not the sign I wanted to see when I visited here.  Never fear, Nicola assures me the store will be in good hands with the new owners.  Best of luck to them and continued success!  

Fantastic collection of stuffed animals.  

Lots of greeting cards to choose from.  

You'll find me here with my book.  Wake me when I need to get back on the tour bus.  

A variety of book bags, some of the sidelines here.  

Suggested readings from UM professors with the MFA program.  Always like seeing displays like this.  

Yes, I did say tons of magazines.  Here are some of them.  

A great inventory of books.  

Get out of the aisles and park yourself here for awhile.  

Tell your kids to follow the footprints.  It will lead them to their area.  

A great area for author events in the rear of the store.  

A fireplace in an indie in Michigan.  Look for me here during the winter months. 

This would be the view the author would have at a reading.  This is looking towards the front of the store.  He/She is standing with the fireplace directly behind.  

Yours truly with Nicola, the fine (former) owner of Nicola's Books.  

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