Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chapters Books & Gifts - Seward, NE

Chapters Books & Gifts - Seward, NE
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If you live in a small town and don't have a bookstore, I would encourage you to contact Carla K., the owner of Chapters Books & Gifts in Seward, NE.  This independent bookstore is celebrating 11 years of business this month in a small midwestern town of approximately 7000.  As with all indies located in towns similarly sized, I always ask how.  The answers at Chapters Books & Gifts all seem logical to me.

A bookstore can receive no better endorsement than the ones that come from their customers.  While I was visiting and asked Carla the "how" question, a nice lady customer who overheard me didn't hesitate to answer.  She said it's because Carla is friendly, she's nice, and she really knows her books, especially for young adults and children.  I responded that this is the perfect description of all the successful owners and booksellers I meet along my journey.  And from my brief visit here I couldn't agree more.

This one-level store is neat and well-organized.  It is particularly strong for young adult literature and children's books, which is compatible with Carla's background.  Another component of success here is deep community involvement including a partnership with the many area schools as well as author events in-store and off-site.  Later in the week Carla was partnering with a local winery for an off-site author event.  Whenever an indie can do this I think it is great.  These events and the sidelines are an integral part of the business here.  Children will love this place as many of the sidelines are geared towards them.  That, along with the terrific children's section, will really attract the kids.  Carla is also working to increase the store's involvement with the local college, Concordia, and hopeful of bringing more business from that segment of the community.

Even cat lovers will love Jane!  
So kids will totally love this place and if they need any other reason to come here it would be to meet Jane.  Jane is the independent bookstore dog who enthusiastically welcomed me within three feet of
entering (note to self: consider keeping dog treats in my book travel bag).  A friendly dog, a friendly owner, a store full of books, and kid friendly.  And the whole time great music from NPR playing in the background.  What more could a book customer want?  If you're one of the few in Seward who hasn't been here yet, get with it.  You'll love your visit to this gem on the square in Seward.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Blackout, Sarah Hepola.  Memoir of the author's severe alcohol addiction which wiped unfortunate events from her memory after too much to drink.  Excellent and highly recommended.

CURRENTLY READING:  In The Heart Of The Sea, Nathaniel Philbrick.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Breaking Creed, Alex Kava.  Unharmonious, Laine Boyd.

Front window display and a nice place to sit with your book.

View looking through the store from the front entrance.  

Nice display of recent releases.  

On a budget?  Select a free book!  

A few of the sidelines.  

More sidelines, many geared toward kids.  

A portion of the children's section.  

Another partial view of the children's section.  

Ok, I think I could sit here quite comfortably with Jane and a book!

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

Lots of games.  

One more reason for everyone in the Seward area to shop at this bookstore.  

A nice section of local interests and authors.  

If you're in Nebraska and aren't a Husker fan, you certainly know someone who is.  Here are your gift ideas for that person.  

Beyond this door, you can see the Seward town square.  

One more reason to visit this indie.  

With Carla, the fine owner at Chapters Books & Gifts.  Thanks for a great visit.  


  1. Great review of a great store. loved the pictures that go along with the blog.

    1. Thanks for the comments, Luan. I wish every town could have a bookstore like this one!