|Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff, AZ|
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I've learned that I'm somewhat naive about how winter can be in northern Arizona, especially the high elevation of Flagstaff. I was prepared for sunny Arizona not snowy Arizona! The day before my drive up from Phoenix, Bright Side Books closed due to heavy snow. On the drive up the radio said Flagstaff scored the snow jackpot. Uh oh. Since I'd already postponed once due to travel trouble I was determined to forge ahead despite over one foot of recent snow (it looked like a heck of a lot more). Unlike most of my bookstore visits where I meet a bookseller in a comfortable store bathed in books, Maddox was outside shoveling a path to the store. The bright side of my perseverance is I was rewarded with a visit filled with book talk from terrific people in a fantastic independent bookstore.
Flagstaff is a year-round tourist destination giving Bright Side Books year round customers to complement the large group of regulars and some from the University of Northern Arizona community. The store has a great arrangement with some of the UNA professors and provides recommended books to students at a discount. They also enjoy a huge influx of business during move-in week for the university with a large enrollment of approximately 30,000 students. For the regular customers they offer an incentive program, something I wish more indies would do.
Enter this indie and enjoy all new books and a variety of sidelines. These include unique cards created locally and numerous oddities like Black Wing pencils and Farty Putty (my 10-year-old self could easily annoy my sisters with this) in addition to the usual fare. The small bookshelves that run the length of the store down the middle are all on wheels enabling them to clear space and host events on site. I love the old wooden floor and tin ceiling in this historic building with a great location in downtown Flagstaff.
This store has only been around for 6 years and might not be on the national bookstore radar yet. They should be. I didn't meet the entire band but I met four of the stores' rock stars on my visit. Store manager Bianca along with booksellers Maddox, Sam, and Leah couldn't have been nicer.
Ok readers, if I battle snowmaggedon to get here, you can easily do it. No matter how difficult the travel conditions, it will be well worth it when you arrive and meet the wonderful people who work here and will gladly help you find your next great read. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: Dear County Agent Guy, Jerry Nelson. A series of vignettes about the author's experience of growing up in a large family and helping with the dairy operation owned by his parents. Also includes his experiences of following in the footsteps of generations of farmers, family, marriage, farmer friends, and ancestry. A humorous book that compares favorably with similar topics by Wisconsin author Michael Perry. If you like Michael Perry, you'll like this book.
CURRENTLY READING: The Whalebone Theater, Joanna Quinn.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: Born A Crime, Trevor Noah.
|No, I am not in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, or Maine. This is what greeted me in the high country of Flagstaff, AZ|
|Long view of a beautiful storefront. Thanks to bookseller Maddox, it's a clean walk into the store. |
|One of my favorite signs in any bookstore window. |
|Check out this gorgeous interior of the store from the front entrance. |
|This assortment of decorative wraps and posters are a big hit with the students at the University of Northern Arizona, especially during move-in week. |
|Wrap yourself around to the right of the entrance for this view. |
|View looking directly to the left from the front entrance and you'll find a few of the greeting cards offered. |
|Find this book cart and you'll find a bargain. |
|Near the front entrance you'll find this display of various sidelines. |
|A nice assortment of magazines on the left wall of the store. |
|Display of staff picks on the right side wall of the store. You'll also find staff picks throughout the store. Just look for the shelf-talkers below the books. |
|Attractive display of new and notable releases near the front of the store. |
|Lovely art work by a local artist featuring the remarkable natural beauty of the area. |
|Many independent bookstores offer unique and creative art created by local artists, |
|Help the environment with these reusable dish clothes. I was impressed. |
|A valuable sideline for people in this region. |
|I've discovered these Blackwing pencils in a few indies and they have sold well in some areas. |
|Stickers are hot everywhere I visit. |
|I thought this looked like an interesting series. |
|One of my favorite views in any store. Notice the shelf-talkers promoting staff recommendations. |
|Wacky waving and wacky fun. |
|I'm really attracted to stuff like this (ok, just work with me here people). |
|Find some quirky bookstore socks for yourself or a friend. |
|Two of my favorite things in historic buildings are these tin roofs...|
|... and wooden floors. |
|Yes, kids will love this place, bring them along on your visit. |
|Overview of the children's area. |
|View looking from the back of the store toward the front entrance. |
|With Maddox in the center and store manager Bianca on the right, two of the fine people you'll meet at Bright Side Bookshop. Thanks for a great visit.|