Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I Know You Like A Book - Peoria Heights, IL

I Know You Like A Book - Peoria Heights, IL
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Regular readers know that I don't always get to meet the owners when I visit the store.  Boy, am I glad I got to meet the owner here at I Think I Like A Book.  Booksellers will often talk about the perfect "pairing."  A book paired with an event; a children's book paired with a toy; a book paired with a restaurant, a dinner, or a wine.  After meeting Mary Beth N., the owner at I Know You Like A Book, I've decided this is the perfect pairing of bookstore owner and bookstore.  If you've visited this indie you know exactly what I'm talking about.

This bookstore and its owner are equally delightful.  Mary Beth has been in business for 10 years and the store is holding its own with maybe a slight tick upwards.  The store offers new and used books along with a small variety of sidelines including literary themed greeting cards and a unique assortment of jigsaw puzzles called Liberty Puzzles, which are selling quite well.  Everything is arranged and organized neatly in a one-level, multiple room space.  Mary Beth was able to expand her business into a space next door over a year ago and I think this was a great move.  It really improved her retail space and also allowed her to introduce a wine bar into the store.  With all the book clubs that meet in the store combined with a wine bar would seem to be a recipe for success at any bookstore.

But the best part of this visit was the engaging owner, Mary Beth.  It is so fun on my visits to meet conversant, knowledgeable, creative, and funny (I'm leaving out lots of other adjectives!) owners and booksellers who bring expertise and personality to the table.  Mary Beth has all of these in spades and if you don't chat with her while browsing this intimate shop, you'll miss out on the full bookstore experience.

I Know You Like A Book is active with author events in the store and off-site when needed.  They also paired an event for an author at a local restaurant, a great idea.  There is a strong local customer base and for out-of-town visitors the parking is free and right on the street, very easy.  And Mary Beth is so good she even pulled off a live broadcast of NPR's Morning Edition right in the store.  

So what are you waiting for?  Discover what all the regular customers already know.  A wonderful bookstore paired with its terrific owner in America's heartland.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  A Spot Of Bother, Mark Haddon.  

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Moviegoer, Walker Percy.  

One of the front window displays.  

View looking to the right from the front entrance.  This front room feels and looks as cozy as home!  

A nice display in the front room and a great place to sit in the background and try out a book.   

The front check-out counter and Mary Beth fielding phone calls for book orders.  

The store encourages good hygiene and offers locally made soaps.  

A few of the sidelines available including greeting cards with literary themes.  Mary Beth told me you can now get greeting cards with a short story.  I think this is great.  

This is the back room and a portion of the children's section.  

If you break reading glasses often like I do, you'll be happy to know you can buy a new pair here.  

This is the room recently added to the bookstore.  Bookshelves all the way around and the wine bar in the back right.  The wine bar has been very successful.  

Several book clubs meet in the store and here's an area where they can sit and disagree.  With wine of course!  

Looking from the back of the room toward the front window.  The entrance to the store is in the room to the right of this picture.  

These are selling very well so ask Mary Beth to show you these.  Wooden jigsaw pieces in the shapes of people, cannons, or similarly themed items.  Even if you don't like puzzles, you have to see these.  

Where can you find the travel books?  In the suitcase!

What a bargain!  At 50 cents you could buy this whole tub of books!  

With Mary Beth.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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