Sunday, August 5, 2018

Tome On The Range - Las Vegas, NM

Tome On The Range, Las Vegas, NM
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The first thing that attracted me to this store was its name, Tome On The Range.  I love it!  You know, it's like when you go to a bookstore and pick out a book based only on its cover.  It could be fine or it could be a clunker.  I'm happy to say that this store more than lives up to its name in a most impressive manner.  This beautiful New Mexico town of approximately 14,000 has supported this bookstore for about 15 years.  I'm continually impressed by towns this size with a successful bookstore and equally disappointed by all those towns and cites much larger that have nothing.  Way to go, Las Vegas!

Tome On The Range has been in its current location on the downtown square for two years.  It's in a historic store that has one of those iconic tin ceilings.  It has a wrap-around upper level mezzanine that is currently unused but they may have plans for it in the future.  The store offers new and used books, has some good works by local authors, and I thought they had a super children's section.  The store's one-level is very spacious and is arranged in a manner that makes browsing easy (the space reminds me of the size of "old school" department stores).  The previous owner offered many sidelines but current owner Noemi de B., has scaled that back and they are doing well with just the books.  Customers are able to bring in their books and receive store credit but the store is picky about what they'll take.  I especially like that the store has a customer incentive program (why don't ALL  indies have this?) to reward their regulars.  The incentive is interchangeable with two other stores that Noemi owns in Santa Fe and Taos.  In addition to strong local support, which includes the New Mexico Highlands University faculty and partnership with the local schools, the store has excellent tourist traffic which is an important part of the business.  

My only regret?  I didn't get to meet Sasha, the bookstore dog who had the day off.  But the store was in great hands nonetheless with Lauren, an English lit major at Highlands.  She was a great hostess who was welcoming, knowledgeable, informative, and a darn good bookseller.  She has a bright future.

As you tour the southwest and think of this store, you'll probably be humming the song, "Home On The Range," but make sure you change the words to Tome On The Range.  Check it out, you won't be disappointed.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The Book Of Harlan, Bernice L. McFadden.  One of the best books I've read all summer.  Fiction with threads of fact about an African-American born in Georgia in the early 1900s, raised by grandparents and then moves to Harlem to finally be with his parents.  He becomes an excellent guitarist and moves to Paris in the 1930s with other musicians to perform and play at a cabaret.  It all ends with the German occupation of Paris where he is seized off the streets by the Nazis and transported to a concentration camp.  If I were a bookseller, this would be my top staff pick.  Outstanding, highly recommended.   

CURRENTLY READING:  Sons And Soldiers, Bruce Henderson.  

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolf Anaya.  El Hermano, Carmen Baca.  

A very large store front.  

The store has lots of display window space.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

View looking to the right from the front entrance.  Notice the beautiful tin ceiling and a portion of the attractive wrap-around mezzine.  

Display of new arrivals.  

A great place to sit with a book club and talk about your next pick.  

Display of graphic novels.  

Partial view of the children's section.  I thought this was a great area.  

Display of children's classics.  

The children's section had lots of terrific book displays.  

Find your classics here.  

Spend some quality time in this seat trying a book.  

A long back wall of books.  

Attractive display of remainders.  

The store has many wonderful book displays.  Cognizant readers may recognize the celebrity breezing by this table display.  Yes, that's my mom.  

A multiple volume set.  

Lots of places to sit and sample books.  

Looking for the New Mexico Historical Review?  Here you go.  

A variety of notebooks and journals.  

Take a look at a few of the sidelines available at the check-out counter.  

A few of the items of local interest.  

I love this view of the store looking toward the front entrance from the mezzanine level.  

Another overview of the store toward the front entrance from the mezzanine level.  

This is a 'must buy' for tourists.  

Sasha's office.  Sadly, she was out on the day of my visit.  

You're probably wondering what the h*ll this picture is.  Occasionally on my visits, I'll be in a store where there is only one other person in the store besides the bookseller and myself.  In those situations, my mom becomes the Indie Bob Spot staff photographer.  Sometimes it takes several tries to get the picture of myself with the bookstore staff.  This is only what I can guess is part of my mom's anatomy.  I have a whole album of pictures like this.    

With Lauren, one of the fine booksellers at Tome On The Range.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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