Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Novel Neighbor - Webster Groves, MO

The Novel Neighbor - Webster Groves, MO
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This is one of the new kids on the indie block.  The Novel Neighbor in suburban St. Louis has only been around for about a year and a half.  This is a great sign on many fronts including the continued resurgence of independent bookstores.  And The Novel Neighbor truly embraces the indie spirit of shop and buy local.  Everything from partnerships with local artists to numerous in-store events and activities.  All of which are wonderful ways to bond with the local community and bring people into the store, offering a gathering place with a pleasant atmosphere.

For only being open a year and half, I think Holland S., the owner, has done a fantastic job embracing this independent philosophy.  I'm most impressed with the many activities and events available to children and adults.  Of course, they have author events held in the store or off-site if needed.  But in addition to this bookstore staple, they offer cocktail nights, wine and coloring book nights, art classes, and book clubs.  For the kids, you can reserve the space for birthday parties and you can even have a theme.  If your kid is a Harry Potter fan, consider throwing a Harry Potter themed party at The Novel Neighbor.  There are also story times for the younger children every Tuesday and Saturday.  And these are just the events I know about and can remember!

I love the name of this store, The Novel Neighbor, and the word "novel" serves a dual definition.  Of course, you'll find book novels here including all the recent releases and bestsellers.  There is also a fine children's section of books.  "Novel" is also an indication of the many novelties you'll find.  For example, most of the greeting cards are created by local artists.  There is also jewelry created locally and any number of other unique and NOVEL items.  My advice?  If you see something you like, buy it because you won't find it anywhere else.

I had a wonderful time visiting with Holland and finding out about the store and its great start.  At this time, the majority of customers are local.  I'm expecting that to increase as more people find out about this fine bookstore.  It has a great corner location on a very busy road making it highly visible.  You can take advantage of free parking in many areas around the store.  But the tourists haven't dialed this place in yet.  St. Louis has a healthy bookstore scene and now locals and tourists alike need to find out what a great place this is.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Jesus Boy, Preston Allen.  An African-American boy grows up in a community of strict Christian believers and is at a crossroads between his musical talent, preaching, and a secular world.  He is soon with a woman 25 years older and the inter-relations of all the characters is, well, interesting and chaotic.  I enjoyed this book and can recommend it.

CURRENTLY READING:  Light Between The Oceans, M. L. Stedman.

Another exterior view.  

Very nice front window display.  

I love this pillow!

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

A few of the greeting cards available.  

Recent and popular.  

A great place to sit and try a book.  There are more places to sit in the rear of the store as well.  

A few of the sidelines, including jewelry.  Most items are made and created locally. 

Only available at an independent bookstore!

Great display of new releases.  

You might as well start them early!

A portion of the beautiful children's section.  

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

I don't think you can go to an independent bookstore without finding adult coloring books.  

Nice view of the bookshelves near the back of the store.  

Another great view of the bookshelves.  

Need a game?  Look here!

Book-themed earrings. 

With Holland S., the fine owner at The Novel Neighbor.  Thanks for a great visit.

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