Monday, May 7, 2018

Books On The Square - Providence, RI

Book On The Square, Providence, RI
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If there's one thing I've learned along my bookstore journey its that booksellers are special and talented people.  That was clearly obvious on my visit to Books On The Square.  Chris B., one of the booksellers, could easily give local tour guides, restaurant recommendations, experienced actor, and as usual, great book recommendations.  Heck, if the Providence Chamber of Commece or Tourism Bureau, needs an ambassador, this is their guy.  The combination of Chris and a bright, vibrant store make this nothing less than a 5-star experience (not available with Amazon).

This one-level store located in Wayland Square, has been around for 25 years, a great success story and still in its original location.  It has two entrances; the front door is on Angell St., and the back door entrance is from a convenient and free parking lot.  The nice thing about the back door is that it brings you right into the children's section, which I thought was especially good.  Chris's talents extend to this area where he leads story time twice a week.  As he said, most retail businesses have nothing going on at 10:30 on a Monday morning but at Books On The Square, its crazy time.  They also offer author events, held right in the front portion of the store.

This indie carries new and used books and offers store credit or cash to customers who bring in gently used books.  They have a wonderful variety of sidelines and they are an important part of the business.  The greeting cards, many created by local artists, do extremely well and it reconfirms that note writing and the good old U.S. Postal Service are alive and well.  This long-running bookstore has a good core customer base of regulars, including folks from Brown University, University of Rhode Island, and many other nearby colleges.  Professors and teachers receive store discounts and visit here regularly, often to order multiple books to use with students.  The store also benefits from being in an area that is home to many authors past and present.  H. P. Lovecraft was born right across the street, as was Cormac McCarthy.

What else?  A very reasonable lease and lots of room in the basement for storage and offices.  This store has a set-up that would be the envy of many other bookstores.

I didn't get to meet owners Rod and Merc or store manager, Jennifer, but boy was this place in capable hands.  Everyone I met was terrific and there is absolutely no reason NOT to visit and see this great independent bookstore.  Summer travels are right around the corner.  Put this one on your list and I can guarantee you'll have a fabulous time.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The Original Ginny Moon, Benjamin Ludwig.  Outstanding.  Told in the voice of a 14-year old autistic girl.  Now living with her adoptive parents after a series of foster homes and her single mother who was ill-equipped to be a mother.  This is a great book that will help you better understand what goes on in the mind of an autistic child.  The author knows what he's talking about as an adoptive parent of an autistic child.  Highly recommended.  

CURRENTLY READING:  Killers Of The Flower Moon, David Grann.  

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Finest Hours, Michael J. Tougias & Casey Sherman.  Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough.

There are two entrances to the store and this is the back entrance.  It leads you right into the children's section.  Best of all, you'll want to park back here for free and easy parking.  

How do I know you can park here?  This sign!

Buy one of these used books outside the front entrance and proceeds go to a literacy program.  

A great front window display.  

One of my favorite signs at any bookstore.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

View looking to the left from the front entrance.  

View looking to the right from the front entrance. 

A great assortment of boxed sets of greeting cards.  

Beautiful table display of sidelines.  

When the store brought in unique socks, Chris told me he thought they'd never sell.  They sell!

A great place to sit and try out a book.  

I ALWAYS like looking at the display of staff picks.  

A wonderful wall display of indie bestsellers. 

When you see a pair of socks you like at a bookstore, get them.  They're hard to find!  

Find this section for great finds and great prices.  

Wall display of award-winners.  

One of the attractive table displays.  

A few of the greeting cards available.  

A few of the items of local and regional interest.  

If you're a tourist, make sure you find this spinner of Rhode Island postcards.  

View looking into the children's section.  

Kids are going to love this place.  

A great place to sit for the young or young at heart.  

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

The store has a wide range of sidelines including a variety of journals.  

...and sassy oven mitts.  

Locally made candy.  This will go great with the book you get.  

The store has lots of storage and office space below the main floor and this is just a small portion of it.  

With Chris on the left, one of the fine booksellers at Books On The Square.  I'm holding one of his must reads!  Thanks for a great visit.  

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