Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Book Store - Appleton, WI

The Book Store, Appleton, WI 
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As excited as I am to hear about new bookstores opening and then seeing them, I'm equally excited about seeing long-running bookstores that have survived and overcome the many challenges that have sunk so many others.  These "survivors" need to be recognized, acknowledged, and celebrated.  The Book Store in Appleton has been at it since 1976 and owner Kalan B. is just the 3rd owner in its run.  Laura, one of the booksellers here was the 2nd owner and the founding owner was her mother.  Obviously, the store has had great ownership to make it this far and after talking to Laura and Gail, another bookseller, I know that the store is positioned well for a bright future with Kalan.

This store has a great vibe.  It comes from the books, the store, its story, and always the people.  Thanks to Laura and Gail, I felt like I met Kalan even though she wasn't here this day.  The Book Store offers mostly used books with some new.  Customers receive store credit for the books they bring in.  After a lot of work and a long period of time, the store has every book on a data base.  Nice work Kalan and staff!  The store has a few sidelines, several of which are created by local artisans.  Laura and Gail told me this is one of the areas Kalan hopes to expand, locally created art.  Under Kalan's ownership, the store now offers books for sale online.  Laura and Gail gave me an overwhelming endorsement of Kalan and all that she has brought to the store in her year and a half of ownership.  This includes all the creative and original decor throughout the store and even the assembly of bookshelves.  

One of the things they do here that has been very successful is book rentals.  Books available for rent are all hardback new release and bestsellers.  When the book is released in paperback, it is no longer available as a rental.  As Laura told me, for people who don't want to buy a hardback, don't have a library, or don't want to wait for a book on hold, this is great.  Very few indies offer this and I think it could be successful in some communities.

Gail told me the store has a rabid local customer base and I can see why.  They also are seeing 2nd and 3rd generations of regulars.  If you're one of those regulars, introduce a friend to this wonderful bookstore.  There's no doubt to me that this is an Appleton legend.  A great bookstore with fantastic people, the independent bookstore norm.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Little Faith, Nickolas Butler.  I've read two of this author's books and have enjoyed them both.  If you need murders, rapes, missing people, drugs, and all sorts of mayhem, this book will disappoint you.  If you want to read about a Wisconsin couple with some tension about their adult daughter who falls to a cult, placing their grandchild in jeopardy, then you'll like this.  Of course, there is MUCH more to this novel than this.  Very readable and very comfortably midwestern in theme.  I really liked this one.  Recommended.  

CURRENLTY READING:  Gun Love, Jennifer Clement.  

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Deal Breaker, Harlan Coben.  Six Years, Harlan Coben.

If your indie is located in a strip with many businesses, a banner like this is a huge help for first-time customers.  

Spacious front display window.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

Looking to the right from the front entrance. 

Attractive display in the front of the store.  

View looking to the left from the front entrance.  This is the area that offers book rentals.  New releases in hardback at a very reasonable rental price.  Tired of waiting on the reserved book at the library?  Consider this option.   

Grab one of those rentals and plop down here to give it a try.  

I love the check-out counter decorated with the book covers.  You'll find Kalan's artistic touch throughout the store.  

Just a few of the items of local and regional interest.  

A long look through the store and one of the book aisles.  

This bargain is in the front of the store's space.  

Lots of book nooks like this and many with a chair so you can actually sit and take your time with a book.  I love this.  

I would strongly encourage romance fans to visit this store.  

Partial view into the children's section.  

View into the children's section.  

This body cut-out is a tip as to what genre books you'll find here.  Gardening?  No.  Photography?  No.  Animals?  No.  Mysteries?  YES!

Hello Mark Twain.  A nice touch of decor.  

In independent bookstores, an exit door can become your canvas.  

Partial view of a beautifully decorated restroom.  

More restroom art.  

I didn't see this on Amazon.  

Here you go Outlander fans!

An example of some of the great book art in the store by Kalan.  

A few of the greeting cards available.  

More locally created art.  

Most indies have a community advocacy component.  

Book Lover's Soy Candles, something I've seen in other bookstores as well.  

With Gail on the left and Laura on the right, two of the fine people you'll meet at The Book Store.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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