|Novel Bay Booksellers, Sturgeon Bay, WI|
Door County in northern Wisconsin is a nationally recognized and popular tourist attraction for many people. In the summers. So what does Indie Bob do? Heck, why visit Sturgeon Bay in the summer with all the sane and normal people when he can go on a cold winter day, with a wind chill below zero (for a visual understanding, look at the above picture)?! That's exactly what I did and when you enter this beautiful bookstore, it exudes a warmth from its beautiful interior and its fine owners that will make you quickly forget the Wisconsin tundra on the outside.
I'm not sure how things could be going any better here. Since this store opened a year and a half ago, everything has fallen into place quite nicely. Novel Bay has a primo location on the main downtown street and is fortunate to enjoy a reasonable lease and a very kind landlord. The store enjoys equal parts of a tourist and local customer base. In fact, the local customer base along with the business community have overwhelmingly embraced this new indie. All the more impressive considering the town only has a population of approximately 9000. The store has fostered a relationship with some of the local libraries who have purchased books here. I would love to see the schools become involved with the store in the future. Buy local, shop local, Sturgeon Bay schools. And the store's success happened in 5 short weeks from inception to opening. Very impressive considering husband/wife co-owners, John M. and Liz W., had no background in business or bookstores. As John told me, "We didn't know what we didn't know."
At Novel Bay Booksellers you'll discover a store with all new books and a variety of sidelines including some very talented works by local artists. I thought the books of local interest and/or by local authors were especially good. Best of all, you'll not meet two more engaging people to visit with than John and Liz. Their backgrounds prove that you can open a successful bookstore regardless of experience. John's background as a phyciscist and Liz's background as a journalist complement each other very well to give the physics equation that equals one heck of a bookstore.
So remember, you don't need to visit Novel Bay during the heighth of the tourist season, you can come here anytime. Just make sure in the winter to visit when they're open since they have shortened hours. Check out this most enjoyable bookstore and its wonderful owners. You won't stop at just one visit. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: Rotters, Daniel Krause. This book was weird. Joey is in high school, plays trumpet in the band, and lives with his mother in Chicago. When she is killed his father is located and he is placed in his home in Iowa. Joey is an outcast at his new school so he begins going with his father who travels the country robbing graves. This is one of those that makes you look forward to your next book.
CURRENTLY READING: In Zanesville, Jo Ann Beard.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: Deep Dark Secrets, Joy Ann Ribar. Storm In A Teacup: The Physics Of Everyday Life, Helen Czerski.
|Indie bookstores have the best sidewalk signs.|
|This display window will be much easier to see in the summer months.|
|View looking into the store from the front entrance. Discerning readers will recognize the celebrity sprinting to the display table. Yes, that's my mom.|
|View looking to the left from the front entrance.|
|Words to live by.|
|This beautiful poinsettia arrangement was from the kind couple who lease this space to the bookstore.|
|I always look for gift ideas in a bookstore.|
|Attractive display of new arrivals.|
|Inside the front window display is another display facing the inside of the store.|
|Seasonal children's display.|
|John's background in physics has been helpful in curating an excellent selection of science books.|
|You can do this at almost any indie.|
|I love it when my bookstore visits coincide with the arrival of new books.|
|An example of some of the outstanding art work by local artists available for purchase.|
|Find this display for some bargains.|
|The first book sold at Novel Bay. Sold to a customer who was knocking on the door days before they opened. He asked John to sell him a book, any book. John reached into a box and voilà, a business was born.|
|A nice variety of current events offerings.|
|Alternative versions of Shakespeare works.|
|I love this promotion offered at many indies. Wrapped in plain brown paper with only a few sentences to give you a synopsis.|
|A unique message board.|
|These cashmere scarves might not be big sellers in the summer, but in the winter these should be flying out of the store.|
|A very comfortable place to sample a book.|
|Partial view of the children's section.|
|Just a few of the books of local and regional interest.|
|Overview of the store looking from the back toward the front entrance.|
|Novel Bay offers a lot of locally crafted artwork.|
|At the back of the store is an additional room for events like book clubs, poetry clubs, and high school kids who need space to work on projects.|
|Another view of the back room.|
|With John on the left and Liz in the center, the two fine co-owners at Novel Bay Booksellers. Thanks for a great visit.|