Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Let's Play Books - Emmaus, PA

Let's Play Books Bookstore, Emmaus, PA
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Here's another one, readers, another relatively new indie that is an up and comer.  Let's Play Books has only been doing its thing for 4 years and even less than that at its current location.  Yet, in this small town of approximately 11,000, it has seen good growth each year.  And when you visit their store, you'll have an appreciation for the creativity and work that went into it (and I think they're just at the tip of the iceberg in this department!).  Congratulations to Kirsten and Jim who have put this winning formula together.  

Let's Play Books began its business as a children's book and toy store.  But as parents came into the store with their kids, they started placing book orders for themselves (another example of great customer service from an independent bookstore).  Like all good owners, Kirsten and Jim decided to utilize their flexibility and transform the store to include adult titles.  I think they've done a great job of this while still making the children's portion prominent.  So now they offer all new books for all ages of readers.  I thought the adult titles offered were excellent.  Additionally, they offer a nice assortment of sidelines including greeting cards, stationery, journals, and socks to name a few.  As Jim told me, the sidelines are a critical part of the business.

The store has three levels with the top floor, or attic level, used exclusively for events.  Kids will love this space and it is available for birthday parties, a great thing for the business.  They're also host to book clubs, author events, and story times.  On the Saturday afternoon of my visit the store was packed for a children's event.

I think one of the most impressive things here is the store's interior.  The art work, painting, lighting, and decorating is outstanding and very representative of the new wave of bookstores I've been visiting.  And the cherry on the top of this are the two cats you'll meet when you visit, Garfield (feel free to pet), and Bernie (be careful, can be impulsive).

Jim and Cathryn, one of the staffers, were both great to meet and talk to.  In addition to talking about books, Jim gave me a list of Pennsylvania bookstores that I still have to visit so I'm happy to say that my journey will continue onward!  Thankfully, Let's Play Books has a good core of local customers but the tourists and out-of-towners are still in the discovery phase.  To those people, the honeymoon is over.  Find your way to this great gem that you will thoroughly enjoy.  And if you have kids make sure you bring them too.   Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Why Dogs Chase Cars, George Singleton.  There were passages in this book that were absolutely some of the funniest stuff I've ever read, truly laugh out loud.  Mendal tells his story of growing up in small town North Carolina in a series of chapters that are reflections of his childhood.  Very creative writing and story-telling.  Recommended.

CURRENTLY READING:  Blue Heaven, C. J. Box.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Montana 1948, Larry Watson.  

Another exterior view.  

A very attractive front window display.  

A nice welcome counter right inside the entrance.  

View looking to the right and into the bookstore from the entrance.  The shelves pictured are the adult fiction section and it may not look like much but I was very impressed with the titles they offered.  You can tell this has been carefully curated.  

Timely and relevant table display just to the right after entering the main room.  

A portion of the books by local authors and of local interest.

A great place to sit and try out a book or two.  

This is the book that was the inspiration for this journey I'm now on.  It is available in the original hardback or paperback edition and the paperback includes some additional bookstores.  If you're a fan of bookstores, pick this up and start a journey you will never forget.

Even if you don't see Bernie and Garfield, this is the giveaway that they're around.  

This is a very unique display of birds that tweet their own unique tweet.  

A wonderful display of books that teach.

Many bookstores have crazy socks for adults, this one has them for kids.  

View looking into the kids' room, in the rear of the main floor.  

Creative display in the kids' room that will grab their attention.  

You'll find a variety on the 2nd floor.  

2nd floor and to the left, you'll find the member's lounge, a nice meeting area and gathering space.  Make sure you ask about the membership program.  

View looking into the member's lounge.

There's something very Harry Potter-ish about this.  A bathroom, on the 2nd floor, haunted?

Harry Potter-ish indeed!  Amazon, this is how indie bookstores do bathrooms!

Another room with a nice assortment of kids books on the 2nd floor.  

Take a book break and play some chess.  

This is a closet that has been transformed into a very comfy reading room for kids.  

This is the kind of creativity you see in independent bookstores.  I love what they've done with this staircase.  

Looking into the 3rd floor attic kids and events space.

You can see why this sets up so nicely for birthday parties.  

Another view, and through those windows you get a great view down onto the street.  

I'm pretty sure this is Bernie but he is fast and I don't know how I ever got his picture!

If you have a cat or a dog in your bookstore, I think posting their bios, pictures, and social media information is a must!

A wonderful piece of artwork.  

With Cathryn in front and Jim on the right, two of the fine people you'll meet at Let's Play Books.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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