Thursday, December 22, 2016

Wild Fig Books & Coffee - Lexington, KY

Wild Fig Books & Coffee, Lexington, KY
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Regular readers know that I've visited celebrated bookstores that are owned by authors.  People like Ann Patchett at Parnassus in Nashville and Louise Erdich at Birchbark Books in Minneapolis.  Unfortunately, these authors weren't in their stores when I visited.  My bad luck with that changed in one visit at Wild Fig Books & Coffee.  This store is owned by husband and wife Ron D. and Crystal W., both authors with published works AND both present on the day of my visit.  So I met two great people, saw a wonderful bookstore, and picked up two books with their personal inscriptions.  Exactly how all bookstore visits should be!

Wild Fig has been in its current location in the North Lime neighborhood of Lexington for about a year, but Crystal and Ron have had the business for about five years now.  This new location has allowed them to expand their cafe where you can enjoy the usual morning fare of a coffee, cappuccino, tea and pastry.  They also have a varied food menu where you can enjoy a light lunch of various salads or sandwiches.  Even though they've only been here a year, Crystal told me they're already noticing regular customers on the cafe side and regulars on the book side.  The transition to this new location continues to be a challenge since many of the regulars at their former location haven't followed them here.

The bookstore is a one-level space located in a historical building that was originally a family home.  I think it has a great rustic vibe and relaxing atmosphere.  Wild Fig carries a mix of new and used books as well as a few sidelines including t-shirts, greeting cards, unique socks, and a good assortment of jazz on vinyl.  At this new location, Ron told me they're open to the possibility of expanding their non-book inventory in time, something I think is worth considering at all indies.  They're also considering resuming their story time for kids, something they did at the former location.

It was great to meet both Crystal and Ron during my visit, who were nice to take so much time to talk to me while I was at the store.  As with many of my bookstore visits, they told me much more than I can relate to you in this brief write-up.

For those of you in Lexington who haven't discovered this place yet, it's time for you to step up and step in.  It's time you pay a visit to a wonderful bookstore and cafe and the terrific people you'll meet there.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  I'll Sell You A Dog, Juan Pablo Villalobos.  I always wonder when I read a translation that doesn't grab me if the problem is the author or the translation.  That's the case with this book.  An elderly man lives in a retirement building, drinks a lot of beer, and antagonizes the building's literary salon, mostly women.  In his younger years he sold tacos from a taco wagon.  The story goes back and forth.  Filled with oddball characters.  This book gets some good review but it wasn't one of my favorites.  

CURRENTLY READING:  How Starbucks Saved My Life, Michael Gates Gill.  

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Birds Of Opulence, Crystal Wilkinson.  Tangerine Tubman, upfromsumdirt.    

The wonderful mural on the side of Wild Fig Books & Coffee, a tribute to Ron and Crystal's lost daughter.  

What could be better than hanging out on Wild Fig's front porch, sipping a latte and trying out a book!

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

Another view from the front entrance.  

Looking to the left of the store from the front entrance.  

Looking back toward the cafe on the right.  A great place for a coffee or a lunch.  

You can't beat the unique socks found in independent bookstores.  

Lots of great options in the cafe.  

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

I love this book cover artwork that Ron did for Crystal's book.  

Jazz lovers should definitely pay this store a visit.  

Another view across the front of the store.  

With Crystal on the left and Ron on the right, the fine co-owners at Wild Fig.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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