Thursday, August 31, 2017

Country Bookshelf - Bozeman, MT

Country Bookshelf, Bozeman, MT
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Newsflash:  Bozeman, MT is a tourist destination.  Holy crap, I should say so!  On the week day of my visit to Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, the main thorough fare into town was clogged with bumper to bumper traffic and once I got into the business district a crush of pedestrians was added to the traffic.  It made a trip to Disneyland look positively sedate.  As Wendy, one of the booksellers told me, she thinks the store's business is 75% tourists in the summers (I think Wendy underestimated it on the day of my visit!).  As for the bookstore's location, Ariana, the owner along along with her husband, described it as perfect.  I couldn't agree more.  This bookstore is at ground zero for the energy you'll find in Bozeman.

Regular readers know about my original journey to visit all the indies featured in Ron Rice's, My Bookstore (journey completed).  However, if there is ever a sequel, Country Bookshelf needs to be included.  You know all those great qualities I check off for wonderful and successful bookstores?  This store has them in spades.  A beautiful two-level store that includes a wrap-around interior balcony.  Once you get inside, it is really much larger than it looks.  An extensive inventory of all new books, including a large children's section.  Numerous and varied sidelines including greeting cards, crazy socks, and items inherent with the region.  The store hosts frequent author events both on-site and at a larger venue off-site.  And one of my favorite things to hear from Ariana, an outstanding staff of people.

But there's more.  When I asked Ariana if the store is sustaining and if she can see a shift in attitudes to the "shop local" movement, she answered with a resounding "yes" to both.  In fact, since 2010 business here has doubled.  What a great sign for independent bookstores.  As Ariana told me, the community values the importance of an independent bookstore and its 60 year existence is a testament to that.

If Bozeman isn't the hippest town in the Montana mountains, its in the conversation.  And thanks to people like Ariana, Wendy, Jamie, and the rest of the staff (and customers!) at Country Bookshelf, Bozeman just might be at the top.  Look for a reason to visit this beautiful part of the country and then make sure you get to Country Bookshelf in Bozeman.  You'll discover something that everyone needs to know.  A 5-star bookstore supported by a 5-star cast.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Phantom Limbs, Paula Gardner.  Couldn't finish it.  A good book for the right person but just not for me.  Plot revolved around three teenagers, a boy, his girlfriend who left him heart broken, and his platonic girl buddy.

CURRENTLY READING:  After The Fall, Noah Hawley.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Brave Deeds, David Abrams.  This House Of Sky, Ivan Doig.  The Highway, C. J. Box.

A wonderful storefront.  

One of the display windows.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

Just a few of the greeting cards available.  

Display of books signed by the authors.  Behind the display you see the front stairway that takes you to the second level.  There is also a stairway in the back of the store.  

A great picture of one long wall of bookshelves.  Notice all the blue shelf-talkers of staff recommendations.  

Display of books by local authors.  

When you visit a Montana bookstore, you might find horse pens.  

A relevant section of books for Montana.  

I could get extremely comfortable with a book here.  

See those blue pieces of paper?  Those are staff recommendations and you can find them throughout the store.  

I love these pencils that look like they came from the pencil tree!

You'll find crazy socks like these around the store.  If you see a pair you like, you should get them.  You won't see them in many other places.  

Kids will love some of the Melissa & Doug items available.  

A partial view of the children's section.  

Another view into the children's section.  

This is the room you'll see on the second level going up the back stairway.  

Lots of books to check out upstairs.  

A few of the many sidelines you'll find here.  

This is the narrow balcony area upstairs that stretches the whole length of the store.  This picture is from the back of the store toward the front.  

Looking down from the second level toward the front of the store.  

Another overview of the store from the upstairs balcony.  Discerning readers may recognize the celebrity seated in the center.  Yes, that's my mom.  

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

With Wendy on the left and Ariana in the center, two of the fine people you'll meet at Country Bookshelf.  Thanks for a great visit.  

1 comment:

  1. Worked there for three years. I can honestly say no job will ever compare to it.