|Apostle Islands Booksellers, Bayfield, WI|
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This journey began 499 bookstores ago and with this visit to Apostle Islands Booksellers located on the shores of Lake Superior in Bayfiled, WI, my 500th bookstore visit is the cherry on top of an epic saga (marathon? exercise in futility?) which I hope to continue. I can't think of a more charming bookstore than this cute little button on the main street through town that leads right to the lake. Apostle Islands is now 12 years old, succeeding despite harsh winters, a small community (approximately 600), and a pandemic. What a tribute to this fine store and staff worthy of any town regardless of population. This indie has evolved over the years from a store that featured mostly regional and nature works to a general interest bookstore offering books that can be found nationally. The fuel that propels this engine? Tourists, especially during the summer months but don't be fooled by just the tourists. This indie has a solid core of local regulars that help sustain it through the off season, just like other successful indies around the country.
This one-level store offers all new books and a nice variety of sidelines. As Kristen the store manager told me, the sidelines are always a crap shoot to discover what sells just as they are at other indies. I was happy to hear though that the sidelines are not crucial to the store's business as they are at some bookstores. The Blackwing pencils are popular here and they also offer bookstore mugs, stickers, puzzles, and bookstore socks to name just a few. Events are few but there are some outstanding regional authors like Nickolas Butler, Leif Enger, and Michael Perry who come here. If you haven't checked these authors out yet, I encourage you to do so. I really enjoy them.
A big thank you to Kristen and bookseller Madeline for making my 500th bookstore visit enjoyable and memorable. Meeting people like these are what makes bookstores so fun and so much BETTER than ordering a book online.
If you're in the Bayfield area or going their for vacation, check this place out. I guarantee you'll have a great bookstore experience. Your first visit here will be just as good as my 500th. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: The Music Shop, Rachel Joyce. Recommended to me by dear friends Big Jill and Cheryl M. and they were right. The delightful, but sometimes sad, story of Frank and his friends who all own small businesses. Frank owns a music shop that sells only music on vinyl and he refuses to change with the times. He can always find the right music for anyone, and is always quick to help all. But will he allow a strange woman to help him? A great story. This book will have you looking online to hear the many songs Frank recommends to others. Recommended.
CURRENTLY READING: The Sentence, Louise Erdrich.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: Virgil Wander, Leif Enger.
|Located in historic downtown Bayfield.|
|One of the beautiful front display windows. |
|View looking straight into the bookstore from the front entrance. |
|Looking to the right from the front entrance. |
|Looking to the left after entering the store. |
|Tourists should pick up a notebook and journal about their vacations here, write the book, and sell it here. |
|Find this section of local interests and local authors near the front of the store. |
|Here's your impulse buy (after the book), crazy bookstore socks located conveniently at the checkout counter. |
|I'm no expert on mugs, but it does look pretty good to me. |
|Many indies offer the popular bookstore candles. |
|The Blackwing pencils are selling very well. Find them at the front counter. |
|For those of us who misplace and break readers, this is a welcome sight (get it? SIGHT?!! Glasses?! Just humor me people).|
|Attractive table display of popular releases. |
|View looking into the children's section. |
|Step into the children's section and take a look at this incredible mural. So much going on in this very creative work by a local author. |
|Display of books of local interest. |
|Follow this hallway to the back room. |
|Overview of the back room...|
|... and a quiet place to sit and try out a book. |
|A few of the postcards available. |
|Overview of the store looking from the back toward the front entrance. |
|Just one of the social causes observed by Apostle Islands. |
|Do you know a Badger fan? Send them here. |
|If you live near Bayfield or visit regularly, this is a must have. |
|When you come here you'll be visiting an award-winning store. |
|With Kristen, the fine store manager you'll meet at Apostle Islands Booksellers. Thanks for a great visit. |