Monday, April 20, 2015

The Next Page Bookstore - Cedar Rapids, IA

The Next Page Bookstore - Cedar Rapids, IA

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Hey everybody, it's time to welcome a newbie.  There's a new bookstore under new ownership in Cedar Rapids, IA and according to the owner, Deb W., business is off to a great start.  If I were to compare this indie to a human being though, it hasn't even made it to toddlerhood yet.  Next Page has been open for less than two months and in people terms that makes this place an infant.  There will be growing pains, for sure.  Like any newborn, it will need lots of TLC, lots of attention (CUSTOMERS!).  And although I have traveled all over the country on my journey to document independent bookstores, this is the one in my town, the one I'll always be able to get to.  This town really needs a successful, long-lasting indie and I'm hoping Next Page will be the one.

This store is located in the Newbo District of Cedar Rapids, a great location, and occupies the same space as the previous bookstore, NewBo Books.  The fine owner of Newbo Books, Mary Ann P., decided to move on and sold the business to Deb.  I enjoyed Newbo Books and their booksellers but comparing the two is a bit like comparing apples and oranges.  In this case, however, the outer shell is the same but the interior is oh so different.  Deb has an incredible flair for design and I hope it shows in the pictures below.  The space is definitely bright and cheery.  She also does a great job of utilizing the limited space.  If there are bookstore owners who need some designing tips, you should definitely get in touch with Deb.  Despite the small space, I found myself thinking that it seemed like there were a lot of books.

As with all new endeavors, Deb is slowly finding her way.  There are a few author events on the horizon which will be hosted in-store.  The store sells all new books and has a great display of recent releases right inside the front door.  There are a few sidelines here but space will limit what will be available.  If you need a coffee or a latté, you can step right next door into the award-winning coffee shop, Brewhemia.

Now readers, this is where I have to use my stern voice, especially to those of you in the Cedar Rapids - Iowa City corridor.  Look straight into my eyes and hear me in the clearest words possible, PATRONIZE THIS BOOKSTORE!  I've been all over the country and seen wonderful indies everywhere.  This town needs one too.  Stop in, check it out, and have a chat with Deb, she's great to talk to.  Grab a coffee next door at Brewhemia and then browse some books at Next Page.  Support your local independent bookstore.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Dear Committee Members, Julie Schumacher.  I enjoyed this book so much I emailed the author.  The book is a collection of letters of references from an oddball college professor. He wrote these letters of reference for anybody and sent them everywhere.  Absolutely hilarious and he's brutally honest in a very well-written way.  This new book deserves more national attention.  Obviously, highly recommended.

CURRENTLY READING:  A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving.  I think this one is going to be good.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel.

View from the street.  

View just inside the front door looking toward the rear of the store.  

A nice place to sit and try a book in the front of the store.  

Nice table and chairs near the front door.  

You can't miss the new releases.  You'll see them right in front of you when you enter.  

Look for some greeting cards to go with the book gift.  

One of the sidelines in this display case is chocolate.  People, did you hear me?  Chocolate!   Something to eat with the book you'll buy.  

Or caramels.  

I don't know how she's done it, but Deb has done a great job of adding seating areas without making the small space seem too crowded.  

A portion of the children's section in the rear of the store.  

View from the rear of the store looking toward the front.  This will be the view for visiting authors when they appear here.  The furniture will be moved to accommodate folding chairs.  

Yeah, I think I have a double dose of weakness.  

Another great place to sit and try a book.  

You can also find a selection of magazines here.  

With Deb, the proud new owner of The Next Page Bookstore.  

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