Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Readers' Garden Bookstore - Granville, OH


Readers' Garden Bookstore, Granville, OH

(Like The Indie Bob Spot on Facebook and follow The Indie Bob Spot on Twitter)

I don't know how anyone could describe this bookstore as anything less than cozy, genuine, and so, so cute as a button.  The town and the store give off a feel of being much further east than Granville, OH.  This store also takes its name, Readers' Garden, very seriously.  Nature is the main theme found throughout the store with books, sidelines, and even a back patio "readers' garden", a wonderful place to sit with a book during nice weather.  There are beautifully carved birds of many types positioned throughout the store and available for purchase.  The artistry on the walls display colorful nature scenes and among all this natural beauty you'll find a fish tank near the checkout counter.  Bird watchers and nature lovers will thoroughly enjoy this store.  And, of course, readers of all ages and genres!

Readers' Garden is located in the near downtown and has been rockin' it for 20+ years although they've been in this space for less than a year.  Their longevity is impressive given the town's population of approximately 5000+.  But, as assistant manager Audrey A. told me, they have a huge base of regular customers and many of those are from the local college, Denison University.  This includes visits from professors, parents, and grandparents in addition to the students.  

The store is packed with a healthy inventory of new and used books and a plethora of sidelines, especially those created locally.  In addition to the usual greeting cards, puzzles, and bookstore socks, you'll find many nature-related items.  The hand-carved and painted wooden birds and nature-themed book marks sell very well.  There are also some outstanding author portraits painted by a local artist.  Heck, you can even get a unique desk pet made with Lake Erie rocks by Audrey.

It there's someone in Granville that doesn't know about Readers' Garden it would make me shake my head.  Good gawd, what gives?  You've had 20+ years!  Well now you know and there's no time like the present to check out this legendary and successful community bookstore.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Godspeed, Nickolas Butler.  Every bookseller in Wisconsin will probably confirm my opinion that this author is fantastic.  Every book I've read by him is a winner and this one is no exception.  A rich female attorney decides to build a million dollar mansion in the mountains near Jackson, WY.  She hires a 3-man crew and demands an impossible deadline for completion but they will be rewarded with an incredible bonus if they can complete it on time.  The challenges are many, and the further they proceed the more they think the project is cursed.  Put this author on your shopping list.  Outstanding and highly recommended. 

CURRENTLY READING:  The Maid, Nita Prose. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  O Pioneers!, Willa Cather. 

I met this cute little goat just before I turned the corner and walked into the bookstore.  His name?  Nature!  I took this as a very good sign. 

A very picturesque storefront. 

Upon closer inspection, this sign is actually an oversized book.  Very creative. 

Read the fine print. 

Classic storefront window. 

Looking to the right side in the front of the store. 

Looking straight through to the back of a very long store. 

Just to the left of the entrance a few of the greeting cards offered. 

Immediately to the left after entering is a wall length mirror where shoppers can check their hair.  Indie Bob is captured taking a picture. 

Display of staff picks. 

Throughout the store and in the pictures below you'll see some of the fabulous mural artwork. 

Front room table display. 

The fish aquarium is right across from the checkout counter. 

Well said. 


Not only is Audrey a great bookseller she's also a talented artist.  These are her creations made from Lake Erie rocks.  Available at the checkout counter. 

I like this book nook but also notice the mural on the back wall. 

They do a fine job of filling a small space with lots of books. 

Just a few of the rare and collectible books available. 

How many bookstores have a devoted Margaret Atwood section that is identified by her beautiful portrait?!

Display of sidelines in front of a beautiful mural. 

Keep going.  There's more. 

Overview looking into the back room. 

These stunning portraits found in the store were done by a local artist. 

Edgar Allan Poe and the raven will keep an eye on you in this space, the quiet area. 

Looking out the back door into a lovely patio area. 

Another view of the patio looking at the back door of the store. 

Partial view of the children's area. 

Can you identify these Ohio birds?  If not you better pick up this book. 

All of these birds have been carved by hand by a local craftsman.  What a talent. 

With Audrey, the fine assistant manager at Readers' Garden Bookstore.  Thanks for a great visit. 

Monday, November 21, 2022

Between The Pages Bookstore - Lebanon, IN


Between The Pages Bookstore, Lebanon, IN

(Like The Indie Bob Spot on Facebook and follow The Indie Bob Spot on Twitter)

Towns like Lebanon, IN with a population of approximately 16,000 continue to be challenged in their efforts to support local businesses.  I get it, I've heard it throughout my journey.  It's easy to go online, click, and submit.  But you put the livelihoods of your communities in peril.  Amazon pays no taxes and doesn't put money back into your community.  Do they donate to the local Angel Fund like Between The Pages?  Hah, of course not.  During my visit to this wonderful bookstore, this is where I found co-owner Brian's passion.  It is critical to understand that a community thrives when its small businesses are successful.  I know I can get a book cheaper elsewhere but its nothing like visiting Between The Pages where I get to meet Brian and hear his story.  I get to meet customer Clair and hear about her favorite author, Joanne Fluke.  I get to talk to bookstore cat Alice, a charmer to all including the customer who came in just to see Alice.  You don't get these experiences online.  But to benefit the community, "likes" on Facebook won't do it.  Visit the store, join one of the four book clubs, attend one of the many events, and purchase something for yourself or a friend.  Come on Lebanon, buy local, shop local.

Between The Pages has been around for about 2 1/2 years but in this new location for about 8 months, owned by Brian and wife Cassie.  They offer a few new books but predominantly used books, most of which are donated but you can receive trade or credit if you so desire.  All the books are on an inventory, really good news in a used book store.  If you can't visit the store in person consider visiting their website where you can make a purchase online.  Most of the sidelines are created locally and include items like jewelry, bookmarks, and a very cool American flag crafted in wood by Brian.  And of course there's Alice, who is a star attraction at the store. 

I hope you get to meet Alice but she keeps a very busy schedule of playing and napping.  







One of my favorite things here is the independent author library.  A section of books by self-published authors and/or published by small presses.  You don't have to buy these and you can enjoy unlimited monthly rentals at a VERY low monthly fee.  A great promotion for those who don't want to buy the book.

Ok Lebanon, make your way to 2350 N. Lebanon St., the new location and enjoy a terrific experience for you AND the community.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

 JUST FINISHED:  Indian Horse, Richard Wagamese.  I discovered this author on a recent bookstore visit and cannot recommend him highly enough.  This author is an Ojibwe Canadian and his books reflect his life and experiences.  This book of fiction is about Saul, growing up as an Indigenous Canadian and part of that culture until he slowly loses his family to the new encroaching culture of white Canadians.  His grandmother is his last tie and when she dies, he is taken to a Catholic school and endures unspeakable abuse but finds his passion and talent playing hockey.  When he reaches adulthood he is forced to face his demons.  Highly recommended. 

CURRENTLY READING:  Godspeed, Nickolas Butler. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  I Could Chew On This, Francesco Marciuliano.  


Beautiful storefront on a beautiful day. 

Follow the directions. 

Large display window. 

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  The combination of the natural light, the checkered floor, and bright paint color really makes the store pop. 

Locally made earrings can be found right at the checkout counter. 

When I arrived I think Alice had just woke up from a nap.  She quickly made it to her office chair and pretended to look busy.  

It's always fun to see what the book clubs are reading. 

Look to the hard right after you enter and you'll see this uniquely made book pyramid. 

The upper walls around the store show poster sized book covers. 

A portion of the books by local authors. 

Center of the store table display. 

I love this very comfortable area in the front of the store.  A great place to just sit comfortably and enjoy a book.  

I think I can guarantee that no other bookstore has this one of a kind circular table with a personalized glass cover on the top of symmetrically stacked books.  Very nice. 


"Order a book or give me a treat.  Or better yet, do both!"

If you're considering a book but don't want to buy it, consider renting it.  A great way to save money and still support the store. 

This is the independent author library nook. 

One of a kind locally created bookmarks only available here. 

Colleen Hoover is a thing. 

Side to side cross section overview.  Check out the book cover posters at the top of the opposite wall. 

Beautifully crafted American flag by Brian himself.  The price is a bargain. 

Staff picks display. 

New book bargains. 

One of the stores' book nooks.  No matter where you go, you can't escape the iconic floor checkerboard or the bright aqua walls. 

If your child is old enough to begin the Harry Potter journey, they've got you covered. 

A variety of t-shirts are offered. 

A few of the attractive book sleeves available. 

Looking into the kids' room. 

Take a break and enjoy some chess in the kids' room. 

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

With Brian on the left, the fine co-owner at Between The Pages Bookstore.  Thanks for a great visit.