Monday, December 5, 2022

Cicada Books & Coffee - Huntington, WV


Cicada Books & Coffee, Huntington, WV

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What a sideline!  Animal skulls!

Having now been to 500+ bookstores I've got a pretty good handle on what stores stock for sidelines.  For example, like many of my recent bookstore visits Cicada Books does a great business in selling stickers.  They also have bookstore candles which have sold well during the holiday season.  They're going to begin dipping their toe into board game sales, usually a successful move for bookstores.  But in all my visits, I can't recall ever visiting an indie that sells animal skulls.  Looking for a hedgehog skull?  They've got you covered.  If hedgehogs aren't your thing, consider a snapping turtle skull.  This aligns perfectly with what another bookstore owner told me.  You just do whatever it takes.  Way to go Cicada!  

Cicada Books & Coffee is going above and beyond whatever it takes.  They've been in business for 4+ years, survived the pandemic, and are now enjoying a successful run offering new and used books.  The store has an especially good inventory of books about Appalachia and LGBTQ genres.  Many of those used books are donated but if not customers can receive store credit.  They are very busy with events including three book clubs and a weekly game night in addition to the usual author events.  One of the best parts of the business is the coffee and cafe service located on the left as you enter the store.  An assortment of coffee drinks and outstanding bagels that I understand are hard to find in Huntington.  Cicada enjoys a strong base of regular customers as well as many from the Marshall University community.

To my knowledge, there is no other bookstore named Cicada Books in the United States.  Although, as bookseller Dawn N. told me there is a Cicada Books in the UK and sometimes their mail comes here.  My curiosity about the store name was answered by Madi, who does the coffee service for the store.  She told me cicadas are a very West Virgina thing.  It also represents a chance at a new beginning, a rebirth, a fresh start.  Something that could be said for many bookstores.

Co-owners Dawn H. and Kate N. weren't here on the day of my visit.  Instead, I was welcomed by the Cicada rock stars, Dawn N. and Madi.  A perfect example of owners who have a great talent for hiring the best people.

If you're in Huntington, venture over to the west end antiques district and check this place out.  Lots of places to sit, sip, and sample a book.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The Maid, Nita Prose.  An absolutely delightful book, a mystery that is part humorous, part heart-breaking.  Molly is the maid at the swank and upscale Regency Grand Hotel.  She is meticulous about her job, her cleaning, and dependable to a fault.  Utterly honest and transparent, her naivete is taken advantage of by many and she is unwittingly involved in criminal activity with no knowledge whatsoever.  You will love Molly and her quirky character.  Recommended. 

CURRENTLY READING:  The Warsaw Orphan, Kelly Rimmer. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Bookstore Explorer: West Virginia, Matt Browning. 


This brightly colored exterior will catch the eye of any customer. 

View looking into the store from the front entrance. 

Looking to the right from the front entrance.  Plenty of seating for whatever you get from the coffee counter. 

Just inside the front door make a stop at the coffee counter before you begin your browsing. 

Display of new books. 

The perfect chair for anyone who wants to sip and read. 

The cafe offers a variety of snacks. 

At the checkout counter you'll get a chance to browse the many unique stickers offered. 

Creative artwork by talented local artists, displayed and for sale. 

You might have someone on your gift list who would enjoy this game. 

This sounds like a fun book club.  I encourage everyone to get involved with the book club at their local independent bookstore. 

Partial view of the seating area in the front of the store. 

Consider these literary-themed candles for the holiday season. 

Unique and locally crafted jewelry. 

Partial display of books by local authors. 

Remember the leg lamp in the movie, A Christmas Story?  This is kind of the same thing, right?  I can neither confirm or deny if this is the real thing. 

The stores' book pricing for used books. 

There is a front room for the bookstore and a back room.  This is the overview looking into the back room. 

Just inside the back room and to the right is this very comfortable lounging nook. 

Another view. 

Consider reserving the comfortable lounging nook area in the back room. 

Partial view of the children's area. 

One of the book nooks in the back room.

A long line of bookshelves on the right wall of the back room. 

Another great group gathering space in the back room. 

The store has many great areas to sit and read. 

A few of the games available. 

An overview of the back room and looking toward the front and all the way to the front door. 

With Dawn in the back and Madi in the front, two of the fine people you'll meet at Cicada Books & Coffee.  Thanks for a great visit. 

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