Sunday, February 17, 2019

Read A Book Nook - Marshalltown, IA

Read A Book Nook, Marshalltown, IA
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After so many bookstore visits, I didn't think my admiration for bookstore owners could get any higher but that's exactly what happened for me after meeting Wendy S., the owner of Read A Book Nook.  Wendy is part of that connected fabric of owners throughout the country who do such a great job.  She's a one person staff (with one person of occasional volunteer help) that brings an enthusiasm, growing knowledge, and passion for books and her store.  The store's birth one year ago and subsequent success to date falls squarely on her shoulders even though she's had great support from family and friends.  But make no mistake, Wendy is the reason for this store's successful start.  Congratulations to her and Marshalltown.

As for bookstores, this is about the only option for miles around.  The business growth here is definitely community driven by a town that has enthusiastically welcomed this new bookstore.  Many of the regular customers also come from several nearby smaller towns who prefer visiting here rather than larger cities.  The store has a wonderful inventory of 10,000 books which are mostly used with a few new.  Many of these books are donated and customers can get store credit for the books they bring in.  And if they donate over 30 books, they can receive a lifetime benefit of 5% off every purchase, just one of the several custom perks.  The one-level store shares business space with Griego's Thrift & Collectibles and Shirley's Crochet & More in the 3rd Ave Buzzar.  This is a great arrangement to share rent and utilities.  The bookstore is now in its second location very near downtown and much more visible then its original space.  Wendy's store began with 60 books and 3 bookshelves, a story other indie owners may be able to identify with.  From these humble beginnings, Marshalltown has added a wonderful establishment to its retail footprint.

As with many new bookstores, the word is still getting out about Read A Book Nook.  If you're in Marshalltown, anywhere nearby, or just passing through, here you go.  Help spread the word to shop local, buy local, and take pride in knowing that you have a terrific owner and her business in your community.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya.  Some have called this one of the best-known works in contemporary Chicano fiction.  Story of a boy growing up in New Mexico after WWII and his family's challenges with some bad characters.  Combines mysticism with Native American beliefs and Catholicism.  Themes include murder, revenge, redemption, witchcraft, and school bullies.  This book is banned in some school districts.  I enjoyed this one.  Recommended.  

CURRENTLY READING:  Becoming, Michelle Obama.  

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Mississippi Blood, Greg Iles.

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

View looking to the right from the front entrance.  

View looking to the left from the front entrance.  Behind this display you'll find the two other businesses that make up the 3rd Ave Buzzarr.  Griegos's Thrift & Collectibles and Shirley's Crochet & More.  

Display of popular fiction.  

If you're a fan of Dungeons & Dragons, you definitely need to check out this display case at the check-out counter.  

If you're a Danielle Steel fan in Marshalltown and haven't been here yet, you're missing out.  

If you have an interest in collectible editions, always ask about what they have.  

Just like every other bookstore!

View looking into the middle room.  More fiction and children's.

A portion of the children's section and a little table for little readers.  

Partial view of the children's section.  

An antique book display from Lang Books.  

These books are shelved in the passageway that leads to the third room, which is actually a vault from when this was a bank. 

View looking into the third room, the "vault."  Lots of non-fiction in this room.  Readers might recognize Indie Bob Spot staffer, Michelle T.  

View looking toward the front entrance from the middle room.  

The store has a large storage area in the back of the building.  This is not yet open to the public but might be available at some point in the future. 

View looking into the partner businesses' space from the bookstore.  

For every indie owner enduring this brutal winter season all across the country, these are essential.  Here at Read A Book Nook, the bag of salt and shovel are in a place of honor by the front door!

With Wendy, the fine owner at Read A Book Nook.  Thanks for a great visit. 

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