Monday, October 10, 2016

Prairie Path Books - Wheaton, IL

Prairie Path Books, Wheaton, IL
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Readers, I really hope when you visit bookstores that you are able to chat with some of the booksellers and owners you meet there.  Of course, you should browse the inventory of books and gifts but the people who work in these places almost always have interesting backgrounds and stories.  As with Sandy, one of the co-owners at Prairie Path Books, she has an interesting background that on the surface didn't foreshadow bookstore ownership.  Sandy went from a career in corporate law, to being a mom, and then finally to a bookstore owner.  Certainly there was more to her journey than this but that's the gist of it.  No background in business or bookstores which is surprisingly similar to many others I've met.  Now two years later, Prairie Path is off and running and business is going great.

Prairie Path is a one-level bookstore connected to a much larger furniture store, Toms-Price Furniture.  The two businesses complement each other nicely.  I'm not sure if any other bookstore I've visited has nicer furnishings in the store and events space than this one.  Very comfortable and attractive.  And you can always take a book and find a comfortable place to sit and try it out in the furniture store portion.  Sandy has a talent for decorating and style and it really shows in the store.

In addition to a great selection of all new books, the store has an excellent assortment of greeting cards.  One of the strengths here though are the many cooking books and a variety of store events.  The events include lots of cooking demos, author events, or book presentations by Jenny (the other co-owner) which often include wine and cheese.  Who wouldn't want to visit a great event like this in a bookstore?!  The events run the gamut from free to pay events and there is something here for all ages and interests.  For someone who had no business background, I think Sandy is knocking it out of the park here.  

I had the best time talking to Sandy and Susan, one of the booksellers.  These two people are exactly what I mean when I suggest that you not only browse the books but chat with the people.  These two couldn't have been nicer and more generous with their time.

I think this bookstore is one of the shining gems in Wheaton.  Since it's relatively new, not everyone has heard about it yet.  Now you have.   Wheatonians (Wheatonites?  Wheaties?!), score some points for a terrific local, independent business that has a most welcoming atmosphere.  Support this wonderful store by paying it a visit.  Take a friend or take your family.  You'll find out what other visitors have discovered.  A great bookstore right under your noses.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  Unexpectedly, Milo.  Matthew Dicks.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Whistling Past The Graveyard, Susan Crandall.  The President's Hat, Antoine Laurain.

Lots of free parking and then walk right around the corner and into the front entrance.  

View looking into the store and to the left from the front entrance.  

Great display of new releases right by the entrance.  

Table display of some of the staff picks.  Perceptive readers may recognize the celebrity caught on camera.  Yes, that's my mom.  

Children's area to the right of the front entrance.  

More of the children's section, in a room of it's own to the right of the front entrance.  

Enter the store and turn left.  This is your view of book browsing in that direction.  

Fancy reading glasses in case your sight declines just as you pick up a book.  

Here are some of Sandy's recommendations.  Cooking books and events are big here and that's reflected in her display.  

Display of relevant local interests.  

Enter this room within the store and you'll find an extensive assortment of greeting cards.  

A great area to sit and browse a book even though my picture doesn't do it justice.  

A nice place to sit and look at a book.  

An excellent kitchen area for the many cooking demonstrations.  

An overview of the store looking back toward the front entrance which would be rear right in this picture.  

It's easy to get to the furniture store from the bookstore.  Walk through the interior door and you'll see this view of the furniture store.  

Prairie Path has a great events space with lots of comfortable places to sit.  

Start a bookclub and meet at the store.  

A timely display for the season.  

Find events info and other flyers near the front entrance.  

Diana Gabaldon lovers will find all the Outlander books.  

Display of books that are movies.  

Two things:  1) This is another great seasonal display.  2) There's nothing like great background music in a bookstore and the old fashioned gramophone speaker you see on the right side of the display was playing the Louis Armstrong channel on Pandora.  Perfect!  

With Sandy on the left, one of the fine co-owners at Prairie Path Books.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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