Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Next Chapter - Omaha, NE

The Next Chapter, Omaha, NE
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This is a brand, spanking new indie, all of one month old.  Yet, it has quite a long and established history that has lead up to its birth.  Owner Shelly M. and her parents are long time bookstore owners and booksellers dating back over many years.  For 43 years, her parents owned Prairie Books & Gifts, in Hastings, NE.  The day came when that business closed leaving a void in the family's life.  But as so often happens in life, when one door closes another one opens.  The absence of a bookstore in the family is something Shelly had to act on and so she did.  I could tell when I met her that she had a pretty happy vibe beginning this next chapter of her life, replacing Prairie Books.  Fittingly, that's exactly what she named this new store.

One of the best things about Next Chapter is its location.  It's in the Farnum Hill District near downtown Omaha on the very busy Farnum St.  Right next door is the roomy and spacious Zen Coffeeshop and immediately across the street is a large Holiday Inn Express.  There's also another upscale hotel nearby.  Thanks to these hotels, travelers are already making it into the store.  Shelly is especially optimistic for the business when Omaha hosts the College World Series each summer, located very close to the store.  I'm also amazed that no matter how new the bookstore is that I visit, they already have regular customers.  Shelly has expressed how nice these customers are, something most other indie owners can vouch for.  Two of the regulars even purchased the store's Christmas tree.  Next Chapter is also attracting customers from nearby Creighton University, a base of customers I predict will grow over time.

This one-level newbie offers all new books and a variety of sidelines.  As with other indies, the sidelines will continue to evolve.  Journals, greeting cards, Husker swag, and games are just a few of those sidelines and so far the games have been selling well.  In time, the store will begin hosting author events.

Shelly was fantastic to meet and tell me about the store and its progress.  Thankfully, this excellent location has a reasonable lease making the future bright for this charming bookstore.

Ok Omaha, let's get the word out.  Time to hit a cute, new little bookstore that's sure to attract you back time and time again.

The marriage of a knowledgeable and experienced owner with a new bookstore is a can't miss.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The Great Believers, Rebecca Makkai.  This book gets rave reviews and is a National Book Award winner.  Almost everyone loves it so take my comments with a grain of salt.  Story about the AIDS epidemic in Chicago and its impact on the gay community.  Story bounces between 1985 and 2015.  Clearly, a tragic chapter in social history.  For me, this book was a little dry and boring.  I thought the prose a bit lengthy, and for me, it dragged.

CURRENTLY READING:  Rotters, Daniel Kraus.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Calypso, David Sedaris.

Don't mind if I do!

View looking into the store from the front entrance and the welcoming smile of a proud owner.  

Coat rack inside the front door.  Hang up your coat and do some serious browsing.  

Display of new bestsellers and seasonal books, just to the left of the front entrance.  

Journals in a variety of sizes.  

Maybe get a bookmark for every book you buy?

Whoooo wants a book?

Some kid-oriented sidelines right in the middle of the store.  

Table display of holiday and party drink ideas.  

A few of the books of local and regional interest.  

A few of the greeting cards available.  

If you have a Husker fan in your family, come here for more gift ideas.  

An example of some of the unique greeting cards found in independent bookstores.  

Neatly organized wall of fiction and non-fiction, located on the right wall of the store.  

The store has a nice variety of sidelines.  

If you spend a lot of time traveling to bookstores, this is exactly the kind of thing that would come in handy.  

Great display of cooking books.  

Partial view of the children's section.  

Thank you Dr. Seuss.  

Overview of the store looking from the back toward the front entrance.  

The store is so new that they still have congratulatory plants and flowers throughout.  

A nice gift idea or stocking stuffer.  You'll find lots of super ideas at any independent bookstore.  

With Shelly, the fine owner at The Next Chapter.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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