Friday, April 16, 2021

Bookmarx - Springfield, MO

Bookmarx, Springfield, MO

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Readers, I've said it before and I'll say it again, any town that calls itself a college town should absolutely have an independent bookstore.  I don't know if Springfield considers itself a college town but that would be my observation here with Missouri State along with several others.  Bookmarx is situated perfectly in the downtown district and is also a very short walk from the Missouri State campus.  Why do college towns need these bookstores?  As Josh the owner told me, their business from the college community is around 60%.  Factor that in with the business from other customers in the community and you have a recipe for success.  Do you live in a college town WITHOUT an independent bookstore?  Open one!

Bookmarx is not a radical commie or Marxist bookstore.  Don't let its name or logo fool you, it's just a play on the words, "book marks."  They offer mostly used books (perfect in a college town), along with some new and a few collectibles.  The one-level store includes a beautiful red art gallery room in the back featuring art work by local artists.  It's also a great events room for when those resume.  The store has been around for 7 years and coincidentally, was previously an art gallery.  I'm always braced for the worst when I ask owners how the past 12 months have been.  Surprisingly, as with Josh here at Bookmarx, many have told me that things have gone very well.  Maybe the pandemic moved people closer to books with little else to do.  

It's been awhile since I've been in a bookstore with a bookstore cat so I was pleasantly surprised here.  They actually have two bookstore cats but Squash hasn't reported to work for about a year (this means he can probably use the stimulus?).  This, despite the fact he has his own recommended book shelf.  So on this day, I met Googey who was on his break napping (not sure why Squash couldn't show up and rock this schedule?) but eventually he woke up and strolled through the store with me.  

Hey Springfield, don't leave this place to the college kids.  Bring in some of your books to trade and take time to browse through a terrific independent bookstore.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine, Kevin Wilson.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Deacon King Kong, James McBride.  Not purchased but gifted, Secrets In The Cellar, John Glatt.  Thanks Josh.   

Beautiful storefront in downtown Springfield. 

Lots of display window space and lots of natural light into the store. 

View looking into the store from the front entrance. 
This is Googey who was at the check-out counter when I came in.  He looks relaxed and well-rested so I can only assume that the labor conditions for cats are favorable. 

A few of Josh's staff picks. 

Squash is the bookstore cat and this is his book recommendation.  Googey doesn't have a book recommendation so my confusion about Squash is that he hasn't been to work in approximately a year while Googey has been the diligent employee in the store.

Display of artists who've taken a stab at recreating the store logo. 

You'll find this seat in the front room waiting for you to sit and try a book. 

Just a portion of the classics offered. 

Beautiful depiction of the storefront by a local artist. 

The store offers a few new books and you'll find them at this display. 

An overview of the 2nd room in the store. 

An overview of the 3rd room, including the children's section. 

View looking into the red room, the art gallery part of the store.  This will be a great space for events. 

The art gallery room features works by local artists. 

Look for creative pieces like this one, in the art gallery. 

The Great Gatsby printed in its entirety on this lithograph. 

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

With Josh on the right, the fine owner at Bookmarx.  Thanks for a great visit. 

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