|Kazoo Books, Kalamazoo, MI
Bookstore owners, you may need to update the dictionaries you're selling. I looked up the word, "kazoo," and the definition said it's a musical toy that produces a buzzing sound when you hum into it. Hmm. Sadly, this definition is incomplete. It regrettably fails to mention a perfectly superb bookstore located in a bookstore town in a bookstore state. So you see, the definition needs to include a mention and definition of Kazoo Books. Since you won't find the definition in a dictionary, continue reading for the full explanation!
Gloria T., the owner, told me her late husband came up with the store's name, a contraction of the town's name. That was 30 years ago when Gloria and her husband began the business as a used book store. Today's store is a far cry from its original form. When I asked Gloria what their secret for success and longevity is, she said change, adapt, and evolve. This, along with the store's commitment to customer service, are the hallmarks of successful, long-running bookstores. Additionally, the store does multiple events in-house and off-site. They also host book clubs and writing clubs in the Annex, next door to the main building. These are all great ways to get the store's name out there. As Gloria said, even after 30 years they conintue to see new local customers in the store.
Kazoo Books offers new and used books, now selling more new than used. This inventory is shelved into two buildings with multiple rooms and levels. They don't have many sidelines but they do offer candles, some inspirational cards, and have recently started selling chocolate. They have been offering books for purchase online, including collectibles, since 1997, very impressive. Everything is quite neatly arranged and organized and the cherry on top is the resident cat who lives here, Radio.
|I think there are some customers who probably come to the store just to see Radio!
There you have it. The true definition of kazoo, as in Kazoo Books. Now that's music to my ears! Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
CURRENTLY READING: Seven Days Of Us, Francesca Hornak.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: The Diary Of A Bookseller, Shaun Bythell.
|There are two buildings, both with two entrances. This is the lower level entrance to the Annex building. You can also enter from above.
|Regular customers probably will enter just past this sign and on the left. I would strongly encourage using this parking lot behind the store rather than trying to park on the very busy street in front.
|View of the regular entrance to the store, up the ramp and to the left. Out of the picture to the right is the Annex.
|After you walk up the ramp, this is the view of the front room of the store.
|You'll find a display of sidelines just inside the entrance.
|Display of new and notable books in the front of the store.
|Looking toward the right on the main level front of the store.
|View into the back room of the main level.
|Gloria hopes these chocolates are as big a hit with the customers as they are with the staff!
|This is the upper level entrance to the Annex, straight across from the main store entrance.
|View looking into the Annex and a great space for book clubs and writing clubs.
|I know some book clubs that would accept this challenge!
|View looking to the right from Annex entrance.
|Partial view of the children's section in the Annex.
|If you like comic books, you need to visit here.
|I entered the bookstore on the street level, a lower entrance. This is my view looking in and to the left. The main part of the store is the level above this one.
|View looking to the right from the street level entrance.
|When I saw this sign, it became clear to me.
|A great place to sample a book.
|Overview of the lower level.
|Take the stairs up to the main level and browse the books on the way.
|L-R Gloria, yours truly, John, and Todd. Just three of the fine folks you'll meet at Kazoo Books. Thanks for a great visit.