Monday, May 3, 2021

The Nook - Baldwin City, KS

The Nook, Baldwin City, KS

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Honestly, if a town of approximately 4000 can pull this off, anyone can.  Ok, maybe I should rephrase that.  Anyone could pull it off if they're anything like Niki M., the owner here at The Nook.  When I listened to all that she's currently doing it made me feel faint.  Then she listed the things she still has on her to-do list including opening a sports bar and a book bindery.  Oh wait, then there's remodeling the upstairs of this 100 year old building into a two-bedroom air bnb.  Oh I forgot to mention, she and her husband have two kids.  And she's also a runner.  Oh, also forgot that she puts out a local newspaper.  And these are only the things she told me about that I'm remembering.  Good gawd when does she sleep?!

So Niki is the talent and creativity behind this beautiful bookstore in Baldwin City.  They've been open for about a year and a half now and like others I've met they've done very well during the pandemic.  One of their secrets is they home delivered everything, a marvelous customer service.  They offer all new books here along with a few used ones and copious sidelines including many locally created crafts and art.  They have a beautiful children's room, a place to bring a child to explore while mom or dad can sip a wine or beer.  Or if you're visiting earlier in the day enjoy a coffee drink and a light pastry in the coffeeshop area.  

The Nook enjoys many regular customers as well as others from the Baker University community right across the street (FYI, Baker is the oldest 4-year college in Kansas).  Two things really stand out for the store's success.  One is events.  They are a huge deal here and as Niki says it gets people in the store.  The other is Niki's publishing company, Imperium.  This is the only publisher in Kansas so if you're in Kansas or the midwest and looking for someone to publish your book, consider Imperium.  I saw many of the publications and they are very professional and look great.

As the weather changes, consider coming to the outdoor patio to enjoy lunch from a local food truck and some live music.  If this isn't your thing, inquire about joining the Boozy Bookclub.  Come for the books, stay for the booze!

This store truly has something for everyone.  If you can't find anything, you're not trying.  With everything it offers and all its events, this is definitely a beacon of a successful business that is important to the health of any community.  Way to go Baldwin City.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

 JUST FINISHED:  We Were The Lucky Ones, Georgia Hunter.  What a book.  Begins in the late 1930s in Radom, Poland.  Jewish couple and their 5 adult children with their loved ones face the dire consequences of a crumbling Europe to Nazi Germany and they must endure multiple hardships to endure and survive as they become scattered around the world.  Incredible story base on true events.  5-stars all the way, highly recommended. 

CURRENTLY READING:  Deacon King Kong, James McBride. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Home Front, Melinda B. Hipple.  Hotel Toledo, Melinda B. Hipple.  

Beautiful exterior view of The Nook. 
Overview of the very spacious outdoor patio.  Expect to hear live music here during the summer months. 

You have arrived!
View looking into the store from the front entrance.  There is some cafe seating in here and some more in a room to the right. 
View looking to the right from the front entrance.  The doorway in the upper left will take you to a 3rd room with more books and a children's section.
Overview of the main room. 
Display of staff picks. 
Variety of sidelines in the main room.  Much of this is produced and created locally. 
Lil Happy Creations made locally.  Shop local, buy local. 
Can you even call yourself a Chiefs fan if you don't have the earrings?!
Immediately to the right of the front entrance, a portion of the graphic novels and coloring books offered. 
Niki also has a publishing house, Imperium Publishing.  Here are some of those titles.  If you're looking for a publisher, check this one out.  Very professional and I thought they looked great. 

Just inside the front door you won't be able to pass by this display of new releases. 

Need a break from browsing?  Get yourself a drink and pull up a seat for some chess. 
Need ideas for a birthday party?  Here you go!


An overview of the seating area in the main room.  I had a great time talking to Melinda H. during my visit who is a bookseller AND a published author.   
A wide variety of everything.  If you're looking for a coffee drink, proceed into the middle room for that.  

Seating also available at the counter/bar. 


View looking into the cafe, the middle room in the business.  This is where you'll order your coffee drink. 

Get something from the bakery case to go with that coffee. 
If you go to the right after entering the store you'll enter the 3rd room.  This is an overview of that room and a view of the children's section. 
Some wonderful little seats for some little readers. 
Whoever is supervising those little ones might as well settle into this comfy chair. 
A wonderful variety of games.
If you like puzzles and you like the Jayhawks this is for you. 
A nice sitting area in the 3rd room. 
A good assortment of used books. 
Find these shelves if you're on a tight budget. 
Overview of the 3rd room looking toward the children's section. 

With Melinda on the left and Niki on the right, two of the fine people you'll meet at The Nook.  Thanks for a great visit. 

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