|Title Wave Books, Anchorage, AK|
There are a few bookstores I walk in and just say, "wow." Title Wave Books is one of them. This is an expansive, one-level store, billed as the largest bookstore in Alaska (I can't imagine anything larger) and also billed as arguably the best (perhaps debatable, but I'm just beginning my Alaska tour and am sure that I will enjoy all my visits). But for this location in Anchorage, surrounded by water, AND housing an inventory of half a million books, Title (tidal?!!) Wave Books is a great store name and a great play on words.
Angela L. is the new owner here for the last year but she's been a part of the store for 20 years. They've been in their current location since 2002 and in business for 28 years. When I asked Angela what the store's secret is she hit the nail on the head. A clean, well-lit store, with staffers who are passionate about bookselling and books. This is such a simple formula and I wholeheartedly agree with her after my visit here.
They offer almost all used books and just a few new ones. For used books in good condition, customers can receive store credit or cash. Most impressive to me is that they have all the used books entered on a data base. They are especially strong with books of local interest that would appeal to tourists as well as their children's section. Most indies have their children's area in the back or in a separate room. Title Wave has it right up front and to the right after you enter. The store serves many tourists (especially Memorial Day thru Labor Day) as well as a strong group of regulars (shout out to Connie!). They host multiple groups in the store including chess club, scrabble club, writing clubs, and a cancer support group to name a few. This is so indie! I was curious about how things go in the winter months and Angela told me it goes really well. Thankfully, things are going great here and they are doing more than just hanging on as proven by a 26-employee staff. Way to go, Angela.
Angela, along with floor managers Wesleyan and Jeremiah were terrific and displayed that characteristic bookstore knowledge and kindness.
Sooner or later you'll get to Anchorage, on a cruise or vacationing on your own. When you do, make a point to visit a true tidal wave of books, or dare I say an absolute tsunami. You'll have a wonderful time with wonderful people. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: The Modigliani Scandal, Ken Follett. I'm a big Follett fan, but this isn't one of his better books. This one is defined as a thriller about the art world, art critics, art galleries, artists, and forgeries. A whodunnit. The story didn't make a lot of sense to me and was a bit hard to keep things straight.
CURRENTLY READING: The Woman In Cabin 10, Ruth Ware.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: A Wolf Called Romeo, Nick Jans. Not purchased, but gifted, a very cool Title Wave Books t-shirt. Thanks Angela.
|View from the parking lot where you'll find lots of free parking. As you can see, this is a large store front.|
|The store has a large display window.|
|You can start browsing just inside the front door before entering the store.|
|View looking into the store from the front entrance. As you can see, it is a tidal wave of books. Some of you may recognize an Indie Bob Spot staffer on the right, Michelle T.|
|Looking to the right from the front entrance. The children's section located in the front of the store.|
|A nice place to sit by the front door and try a book.|
|View looking to the left from the front entrance. This is the area where you'll bring your good used books.|
|Music on vinyl and CDs at the front of the store. Don't worry, they have much more available than this.|
|A great customer service for tourists who fly here and may have a weight limit with their baggage.|
|An overview of the children's section.|
|Partial view of the children's section. Lots of little seats and tables for little readers.|
|Wonderful display of children's bestsellers.|
|A few of the greeting cards available.|
|Alaska topic books bestsellers display.|
|More Alaska bestsellers.|
|The store has lots of Alaska related books and sidelines.|
|One of the many long book aisles.|
|Did I mention that the store is huge? Consider getting a map to find your genre or simply browse at your leisure.|
|A wonderful display of staff picks. Apologies for the blur, I was sprinting to see what everyone read!|
|You can get some great Title Wave shirts and sweatshirts in different styles and colors.|
|As you continue to walk through the store, you're going to find some great deals that will fit any budget.|
|Another bargain book display.|
|Consider a little chess or checkers.|
|The bargains get better and better the further into the store you go.|
|Lots of music on CDs available.|
|Also lots of music on vinyl.|
|I love the mural in the back of the store.|
|Looking for a movie? They have those too!|
|This is a great area in the back of the store for groups and clubs.|
|Bookshelves the length of the store.|
|An overview of the store looking from the back toward the front entrance.|
|From L-R, yours truly, Angela, Jeremiah, and Wesleyan. These are just a few of the rockstars you'll meet at Title Wave Books. Thanks for a great visit.|