Thursday, December 9, 2021

Abalabix Books - Crystal Lake, IL


Abalabix Books, Crystal Lake, IL

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Since resuming my journey after the shut down, I've surprisingly visited a lot of newly opened bookstores.  Also surprisingly, almost all of them have knocked it out of the park with everything they've done.  It is exactly the same for this newbie, Abalabix Books in Crystal Lake, IL.  Owner Diane S. was set to open but then the pandemic shut down hit.  She was able to hold off opening and now she's fully in the bookstore swimming pool, almost 2 months old.  And yes, she has knocked it out of the park.

My adorable best friend, George. 

When you enter the store for the first time the colors will absolutely jump out at you.  Bright blue shelves with bright yellow walls really glow with the bright lighting.  At first, Diane was concerned about her location but she has now realized that it's excellent.  A Starbuck's is a very short walk away; a FedEx box right outside the store; a fine arts theater right next to the store that brings in mothers waiting for their children's dance class to end; a Metra station two blocks away; and lots of nearby independent businesses.  Location aside, the best thing of all and star of the show here is George, the bookstore dog.  This Abalabix ambassador enthusiastically welcomes ALL to the store and will be one of the best things about your visit.  I mean, heck, how many bookstore dogs have their picture in the front window?!  As usual with bookstore dogs, I take WAY more pictures than I can use.  

According to a local historian, this is the first bookstore in Crystal Lake to be an exclusively new books bookstore.  In addition to the new books, there are a good variety of sidelines including journals, greeting cards, bookstore socks, and positive quote blocks to name a few.  Diane has had good success using a website called Faire when finding and ordering her sidelines.

But the name of the store, Abalabix Books?  Really?  Why not George's Books?!  When Diane's daughter was in grade school, she had a friend who told her about his secret spy, Abalabix Something-or-other.  Over time this name kind of evolved into a family code and now this unique name (that will never be duplicated) is on the front of the store.  And as Diane told me, the lucky coincidence is that its listed first on alphabetical bookstore lists.  

Hey Crystal Lake, you simply MUST visit Abalabix and meet cute little George.  He'll warm your heart and oh yeah, check out the books and gifts offered if George is too busy.  Congrats to Diane on this terrific new bookstore.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath.  Read this in college and wanted to come back to it because there is a new book coming out about Sylvia Plath.  This book is the semi-autobiographical look at the author and her story as Esther Greenwood who dreams of becoming a writer, struggling with identity and norms in a mental hospital after spending a manic summer in NYC.  Very readable story of a troubled life.  Recommended. 

CURRENTLY READING:  The Last Confessions Of Sylvia P., Lee Kravetz. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones.   Not purchased but gifted, my very own Abalabix long-sleeve t-shirt.  Thanks Diane. 


This impressive center for the arts is right next to the bookstore, a good location for both. 

Beautiful storefront window.  Check the lower right hand corner...

For all you bookstores who have a dog, Abalabix has raised the bar.  I expect my future bookstore visits to have an equally cute photo in their storefront window if they have a bookstore dog. 

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  Notice all the fresh blue and yellow colors.  No brown bookshelves here. 

George was preoccupied during my arrival roughing up one of his toys. 

Interestingly, the whole time I was in the store I didn't once see George in his spot. 

Neatly arranged display table just inside the entrance (again, George not in his spot). 

Attractive display of best sellers on the left wall after you enter. 

Area in the front of the store and looking out the store's front display window. 

Gift ideas. 

Owner Diane takes time to review store policy and treat rations with #1 employee, George. 

A few of the greeting cards available. 

If you need some journals, there are numerous options. 

These inspirational quote blocks are selling very well.  Another gift idea. 

A great place to sit and sample a book. 

Partial overview of the children's area. 

A great chair in the children's section to share and read with a child. 

Gift idea #3. 

Table display of non-fiction.

This book is hot and has been for quite sometime.  It has been hot for everyone but me.  I didn't find it readable. 

Crazy bookstore socks, gift idea # 4. 

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

Classic poster. 

The welcome ambassador for Abalabix stands ready at the front door to greet you. 

Honestly, the gift ideas in the store are endless. 

These beautiful leather-bound classic editions have been selling well. 

George's office. 

With Diane in the middle and George on the right, two of the fine souls you'll meet at Abalabix Books.  Thanks for a great visit. 

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