Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Book Mouse - Ottawa, IL

The Book Mouse - Ottawa, IL

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As with many of my bookstore visits, this one was a referral.  Larry D., the owner at Books On First in Dixon, IL asked if I'd been to The Book Mouse in Ottawa.  Mission accomplished, put a check mark in the box.  I'd also heard about The Book Mouse from a few others so I knew this must be a good one.  A bookstore doesn't survive for 22 years without doing a few things right.  Clearly, Eileen F., the owner, is staying on top of things and doing a nice job at this independent bookstore.

When I entered this store, I bolstered the population inside to 5 breathing entities.  One cat, two degus, myself, and one young enthusiastic and knowledgeable bookseller, Matt.  I didn't get to meet Eileen on this day but she left the store in capable hands with Matt.  He was great to talk to and he did it while helping a steady stream of customers, a great sign.  He shared a lot with me about the store, its history and business, and of course, all things books.  The store, like many indies, has challenges but they're continually looking for ways to reshape and refocus in order to improve business.  There is no doubt that the roots of this store run deep and are heavliy dependent on the community and local business.  They have a great partnership with 6 nearby schools and are able to offer book fairs.  They're very active with author events, both in the store and off-site.  The Book Mouse offers a monthly toddler time which is a great way to bring kids and parents into the store.  There is a very good selection and variety of sidelines, especially those that would be appealing to kids.  All of this along with an excellent location right on the main street of town adds up to a successful independent bookstore.  There are so many towns and communities that would love to have something like The Book Mouse.

This bookstore is very easy to find since Ottawa is located just off Interstate 80.  Ottawa is a town with many small independent businesses like The Book Mouse and it is a nice place to visit.  The "shop  local" slogan for businesses is strong here.  You can take advantage of free on-street parking and check out all these wonderful places.  Just make sure you save time and visit an independent bookstore with a long tradition and the nice people who work there.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Shadow Of The Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness.

Another view of The Book Mouse.  

A great front window display.  

View from the front entrance looking toward the back of the store.  

View looking to the left of the store from the front entrance.  

Great area in the front of the store to have a seat and try out a book.  

Lots of wonderful sidelines, especially for the kids.  

Or get some nice scented candles.  

Lots of greeting cards to choose from.  

There are no live mice at The Book Mouse.  This is why.  

A variety of other mice.  After all, this IS The Book Mouse!  

Inside this cage are two degus.  The store used to have chinchillas but now they have degus.  These two are about the size of a couple of gerbils.  

A portion of the local interest and regional selections.  

Nice places to sit while the kids head back to the children's section.  

A portion of the children's section.  

Lots of art supplies.  

View from the rear of the store looking toward the front.  

Need a pencil?  LOTS of great choices!

Some of the book club selections.  

With Matt, on the right, the fine bookseller at The Book Mouse.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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