Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Reads By The River - Waterford, WI

Reads By The River, Waterford, WI

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Regular followers of this blog know of my admiration for successful bookstores in small towns.  Every time I see one I always ask the same two questions in my mind.  1) How do they do it? and, 2) Why the h*ll doesn't every town have an independent bookstore?  If a town of approximately 5000 like Waterford, WI can do it ANYONE can (if you live in a similar-sized town and it doesn't have a bookstore and you're reading this, go for it).  Of course, it helps if you're someone like Kelly K. and her husband, the owners of Reads By The River.  Kelly is the ideas and creativity talent of the store and her engineer husband is the perfect complement to that bringing those ideas to life in the store's interior including the very impressive Kids' Cottage.  If you decide to open a bookstore in a small town I hope you have the same experience as Kelly.  A very cooperative local business community, helpful suggestions from other bookstore owners and booksellers, an excellent location on the downtown main street, and a community ready to fully embrace and support something that had long been absent.  That's how it all came together in Waterford and how it should work in any town. 

Reads By The River just opened in December 2021 and it sprinted out of the gates with long lines of holiday customers waiting to enter.  Kelly has done an excellent job curating the store, both books and sidelines.  I can't believe the variety of sidelines given the small, one-level space.  The store offers all new books and the sidelines have been selling very well.  The best of those include the stickers, Warmies (soft stuffed animals that have a lavender scent when heated), and unique book cover coasters, something I hadn't seen until now.  They are already in the process of setting up a regular children's story time, they have the flexibility to partner with local businesses for some events, and they hosted a successful Valentine's Day couples event.  All this in four short months.  Remarkable.  

Citizens of Waterford you've been blessed with a wonderful bookstore with a fantastic owner.  Your job is to continue to support this indie in the years ahead.  Lead the way for other small communities and maybe they'll enjoy the same experience some day.  Buy local, shop local.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  A Column Of Fire, Ken Follett.  3rd book in the Kingsbridge series.  Historical fiction based on actual events and people during the Elizabethan era in Europe.  This book had me looking up events and people as I read that really brings this book to life.  These were difficult times with the Inquisition and the persecution of Catholics and Protestants, depending on who was in charge.  Love this author and love this series.  Recommended. 

CURRENTLY READING:  An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed, Helene Tursten. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The House In The Cerulean Sea, TJ Klune.  Long-sleeve Reads By The River t-shirt. 

The view of the building from the bridge. 

The Fox River. 

Beautiful storefront. 

View looking into the store from the front door.  This space has housed many businesses over the years.

The left side of the store.  The one thing they didn't need to get was the ladder.  It came with the store. 

Attractive display inside the front entrance. 

View looking directly to the right after entering and a portion of the cooking books available. 

Two great places to sit in the front of the store looking out the large front window. 

A full table display of new releases. 

Display of BookTok recommendations. 

This staff favorites display really resonated with me because several of these were also some of my favorites. 

Toward the back of the store you'll find a nice place to sit, sip, read, and enjoy the view. 

View of the river from the coffee counter in the store. 

A few of the greeting cards available. 

One of the former businesses was a bait and sporting goods store.  The canoe came with the store, like the ladder. 

You won't find socks like these anywhere else so if you see a pair you like, get them. 

I thought these were really cool.  Coasters with book covers created by a local artist. 

I've enjoyed being in bookstores many times when I've seen this.  The arrival of the new books. 

Kelly's husband did a fantastic job creating this kids' area. 

Looking into the Kids' Cottage. 

Inside the Kids' Cottage. 

These are called Warmies.  These cuddly stuffed animals will emit a lavender scent after heating them up.  I think adults might go for these too!

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

Like it. 

I've seen the popular bookstore candles but not sure I've seen bookstore seasonings based on book titles. 

Stickers are hot everywhere I go.  Find these at the checkout counter. 

With Kelly, the fine owner at Reads By The River.  Thanks for a great visit. 

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