Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Changing Hands Bookstore - Phoenix, AZ

Changing Hands Bookstore - Phoenix, AZ
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Readers, think of this entry as a second in a series.  If you're here to read about Changing Hands Bookstore - Tempe, I encourage you to click on the aforementioned link for additional info.  If you're here to read about the Changing Hands Bookstore - Phoenix, you're in the right spot.  Same names and same great independent bookstores.

Let this be a lesson to always listen to the recommendations given by good booksellers.  I wasn't planning on visiting here until Pinna and Brandon at the Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe said I HAVE to see the new Changing Hands in Phoenix.  I was reluctant, but they highly recommended I visit it.  Don't ever doubt the recommendations of a bookseller.  They were spot on and I'm so glad I was able to see this bookstore.

If this were a college course I'd deliver a "compare and contrast" essay answer for these two stores.  The comparison part is easy, they're both 5-star gems.  The Phoenix branch has been open a year and a half and has been riding the success of the Tempe branch but is now enjoying its own successful run.  One huge advantage at this store is the beer and wine bar, literally right in the store.  I think the more indies that can do this, the better.  What better way is there to get customers in a bookstore and buying books than offering alcohol?!  Browsing with your beer is encouraged with signs posted around the store.  You can also enjoy a coffee or a latté as well.  With this bar right in the store, hosting events is a natural fit.  They have a great event space in the store which can also be reserved for meetings, parties, and even weddings.

This store is not quite as big as the Tempe branch, but it has everything.  A great selection of books, including a very successful children's department that had to be expanded shortly after the store opened.  What a great sign this is since these children will become the future custodians of our bookstore heritage.  Both stores have as many extraordinary sidelines as I've seen anywhere (come on, who doesn't like something called, Fifty Farts!).  Just like the Tempe branch, it's all on one level and offers lots of free and easy parking.

As with many of my visits though, the people I meet are the best.  Cindy D. is the co-owner of the Changing Hands Bookstores business along with the founders, Gayle S. and Bob S.  If you want a model owner/bookseller to emulate for your indie, clone Cindy.  She has an energy and spirit that will resonate with any bookstore customer, even the grumpy ones.  The result will be a terrific bookstore experience.  She's surrounded herself with a great staff, many of who she introduced me to, and they were all wonderful, welcoming, and enthusiastic.  I can't thank Cindy and her staff enough for their welcome.  Need another example of her expertise?  When many southwest region Barnes & Noble's went out of business, she was able to obtain all of their rolling bookshelves, for free.  She's energetic, knowledgeable, friendly, and conversant.  There's your formula for a great owner/bookseller.

So, as long as all of you follow my advice and plan to visit the Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, you might as well hop on over to Phoenix and visit this one too.  Why visit one great indie when you can visit two!  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Golem And The Jinni, Helene Wecker.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Golem And The Jinni, Helene Wecker.  The Bassoon King, Rainn Wilson.

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

This is the wonderful events space, also available to reserve for private parties.  The bar is just out of view on the right and runs parallel to this space.  Then on the other side of the bar is the bookstore.  It is an ideal set-up.  

This is another view from the front entrance.  Follow this curvy bench to the outstanding children's section.

Have a seat here and browse a book with a thought bubble above your head.  Or get your picture taken here with those thought bubbles like a couple of newlyweds did.  And this isn't the only one of these.  

These Cubebots are selling well.  Build your own robot.  

I'll take 239 of these.  Why only 239?  Because one more would be 2 FARTY!  Get it?  240?  (just work with me here people).  

This is the bar in the bookstore.  On the other side of this bar is the events space.  

If more bookstores could do this I think it would result in improved sales.  

Lots of magazines to choose from.  

I know what you're thinking, Readers.  I deserve the "Lump O' Coal" for the lame joke 4 pictures above.  

Or maybe you prefer I just get a pack of these!

As you can see, the variety of sidelines at both Changing Hands Bookstores is endless.  

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

Sidelines available for all ages.  

A nice view of one of the long book aisles.  

I would change this sign to "Wine and Beer to-go with your book!"

A nice staff recommendations display.  

With Cindy, one of the fine co-owners at the Changing Hands Bookstores.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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