Monday, December 26, 2016

Poor Richard's Books - Frankfurt, KY

Poor Richard's Books, Frankfurt, KY
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Along my journey visiting bookstores across the country, there are some that become known to me before I visit them.  Many other bookstore owners had mentioned Poor Richard's Books to me and told me I needed to see it.  Mission accomplished.  The wonderful reputation I had heard about this store along my travels was confirmed on my visit.

This store is located in a historical building in downtown Frankfurt which is in Franklin County, named after Ben Franklin, which is how the store came up with the name, Poor Richard's (no relation to Poor Richard's Bookstore in Colorado Springs and no I haven't been there yet).  It has been here for 38 years, an incredible accomplishment for any indie, making it an iconic institution of the town.  This 2-level store has a distinct atmosphere on each floor.  The long, main floor room is packed with new, used, and collectable books, floor to ceiling and wall to wall.  On the day of my visit there was light jazz playing in the background to the accompaniment of the creaking floor under my footsteps, the best.  Proceed upstairs to Richard's Attic for a totally different atmosphere that any book lover will not want to miss.  Open the old, creaking door to nothing but used and collectable books packed in a very dark, quiet, and very large room, the only sound is your footsteps.  I opened a book with an inscription composed in 1901.  This is the kind of room that might make you wonder about ghosts if you were here late at night.  I loved it and you have to see it.

In addition to all the books, the offerings by local authors and of local interest were particularly strong, in my opinion.  There are a few sidelines here including some greeting cards, interesting coffee mugs, magazines, and children's items to name a few.  Elizabeth T., the owner, is also watching for new non-book possibilities that she might bring in to offer customers.  The store is connected on the inside to a wonderful cafe where you can enjoy coffee, baked goods, or a light lunch of soup, salad, or sandwich.  This is a great partnership for both businesses.

Elizabeth along with Mark and her staff are some of the best people you can meet, just like every bookstore I visit.  There continues to be challenges though for Poor Richard's, especially with the recent loss of 4000 government jobs in Frankfort, a town of approximately 25,000.  This is where the remaining citizens can play an important role for this indie.  On your next visit, don't buy one book, buy two.  Buy a gift.  Take a friend along to do the same.  Whatever you do, don't overlook or take for granted a bookstore that others would love to have in their hometowns.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  How Starbucks Saved My Life, Michael Gates Gill.  A "feel-good" memoir about the author growing up and having a very privileged childhood, attending Yale, and becoming a high-powered executive pulling down 6-figures, until he was fired.  What to do?  He re-invented himself and found out what his life had been missing for so many years.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Recommended.  

CURRENTLY READING:  The Door, Magda Szabo.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs.  The Cay, Theodore Taylor.  The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August, Claire North.  

Looking into one of the front windows.  

Looking straight into the store from the front entrance.  There is a connecting entryway in the picture to the right that leads to the cafe.  

Just inside the front door you can find some great Kentucky postcards.  

A few of the greeting cards available in the front of the store.  

Have a seat and give a book a test drive.  

Some of the magazines available.  

A good variety of sidelines.  

For Kentucky history buffs, this store is a required visit.  

Kids will love these.  

Some great books of local interest.  

A nice assortment of journals.  

A portion of the children's section.  

You'll find these on the main floor, at the foot of the stairs leading to Richard's Attic.  

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

Read these directions and proceed.  

Just inside the door of the 2nd floor, Richard's Attic.  

This space is a collector's delight.  

A long view along one of the walls of books.  

The front of Richard's Attic looking back toward the stairway where you enter.  

A long wall of bookshelves in Richard's Attic.  

Back downstairs, bring your book club in and discuss your next book.  

With Elizabeth on the right, the fine owner at Poor Richard's Books.  Thanks for a great visit.  


  1. The attic alone would be worth a detour!

    1. A person could spend a whole day in that attic!

  2. very much enjoyed your review of this beautiful shoppe...will certainly stop in whenever I'm in the area...being an author myself, I love these kind of shoppes and have so much admiration for those that own/manage them...

  3. Thanks for your kind words, Danny. The owners and managers at these bookstores are truly the best!