Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Second Story Bookstore - Laramie, WY

The Second Story Bookstore - Laramie, WY
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Usually, if I visit two bookstores in one day it may involve complicated travel and/or other various logistical challenges.  Not so in Laramie, WY.  You can visit two wonderful independent bookstores each with their own niche located side by side, yet totally unrelated.  They enjoy a great camaraderie and refer customers to the other bookstore as needed.  For book lovers and bookstore shoppers, the set-up here is ideal.

I'm always fascinated by the history of bookstore spaces and what they were before bookstores.  Second Story Books is aptly named for its location on the 2nd floor of a historic building in downtown Laramie.  KK, the co-owner along with her sister, told me that at one time this 2nd floor space was a dance hall.  The dance hall was surrounded by numerous small rooms which explains the store's history as a hotel and a brothel.  Those side rooms are now all part of the bookstore and they house different genres and items like westerns, cards and gifts, or bargain books.  Second Story offers all new books and numerous sidelines.  As with many other indies, the sidelines are an important part of the revenue.  Greeting cards, journals, t-shirts, and lots of stuff for kids highlight the sidelines you'll find here.

One of my favorite things about Second Story are the numerous displays and the arrangement of the store.  There are lots of table displays throughout, all creatively done.  Every display made it very easy to browse the books.  It was also nice that there were lots of comfortable chairs to sit down in and spend time with a book.  Another nice perk here is that they offer a free book with the purchase of a book.  A great incentive to buy a book!

I had a wonderful time talking to KK and we shared lots of book ideas.  She told me that they don't have many author events but they do have book clubs that meet in the store, always a great way to bring people in.  And like their next door neighbor, Night Heron Books & Coffeehouse, free parking right on the street.

This indie has been around since the 1980s so I'm going to declare it a Laramie institution!  If you're in Laramie and haven't visited this "institution," it's time.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  A Spot Of Bother, Mark Haddon.  A middle-aged couple where the husband is a hypochondriac (he thinks his hip lesion is cancer but it's only eczema), the wife is a philanderer, the adult daughter is a bit of a bitch and can't decide whether or not to get married, and the adult son is gay.  British humor.  I liked it.

CURRENTLY READING:  Memoirs Of An Imaginary Friend, Matthew Dicks.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Shipping News, Annie Proulx.  With my purchase I got to pick out a free book and I picked, Oxygen, Carol Cassella.

A good sign, in more ways than one!

Two great indies side by side, Second Story on the left and Night Heron Books & Coffeehouse on the right.  

The window display is on sidewalk level but you need to go upstairs to get to the bookstore.  

Follow the sign.  Upstairs.  

View looking into the bookstore.  Take out all the books and tables and this was a dance hall.  Look carefully and you'll see doors to the rooms around the dancehall.  

I love this perk.

Lots of great book displays in this store.  Obviously, this picture doesn't do it justice.  Apologies for the blur.  

Some of the sidelines for kids.  

View looking into the children's section.  To the immediate left of me is the entrance into the 2nd floor of the next door bookstore, Night Heron Books & Coffeehouse.  

Look for this display for bargains.  

I really like this staff picks display.  You have to walk all the way around the table to see all the picks.  

A very nice antique cabinet, or luncheonette, to display some sidelines.  

Another great book display.  

A very comfortable chair to try out a book.  

Some of the t-shirts available.  

Looking across the bookstore.  

These rooms encircle the 2nd floor bookstore.  Check them out, they're all different.  

See what the book clubs are reading.  

Lots of great sidelines here.  

A view from the far back corner of the store looking toward the front.  

With KK, the fine co-owner at Second Story Bookstore.  Thanks for a great visit.  


  1. My favorite bookstore anywhere! Great to see a nice write-up of the Second Story!

  2. Thanks for the comment, Chris. Take a friend there on your next visit and give my best to KK!


  3. What a fun blog post to wake up to this morning! Thanks Bob!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Anne, and thanks for following!