Sunday, April 30, 2023

Books On Main - Ft. Morgan, CO

Books on Main, Ft. Morgan, CO

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Honestly, are there any people in the world nicer than bookstore people?  My extensive research of over 500 bookstore visits says NO and I know that the many owners and booksellers who read this are nodding their heads in agreement.  I'm so grateful for the many I've met on this journey and the many to come but on this day it was my good fortune to meet owner Alycia S. and bookseller Josie.  These nice people are a model of the kindness and welcoming spirit found in just about any independent bookstore around the country.  And I don't need to tell you that people like this are part of a bookstore experience you'll never get online.  

How could anyone resist buying a book from this cutie??

This bookstore is a 6-month old baby and I'm so glad to hear from Alycia that things are going very well.  The store offers all used books in a one-level space that has the charm of creaking wooden floors, lots of comfortable seating on sofas and comfy chairs, and a most adorable bookstore dog, Frankie.  They have 5000 used books in the store and another 5000 in storage and all have been donated, which is the only way they've acquired their books so far except for books purchased from the library.  Books On Main has the perfect downtown location and the best thing for Alycia is she owns the building, a wonderful benefit for any owner that helps to reduce overhead.  Many of the sidelines are provided by area artisans and include greeting cards, quilts, jewelry, and paintings to name a few.  Even though the store has an excellent variety of sidelines, the books still make up the majority of the inventory at approximately 65%.  As for events they've had a couple and there are more on the horizon.

This indie fills a void in this part of Colorado and attracts customers from the surrounding areas as well as Ft. Morgan.  If you're in this area I would strongly encourage you to follow Books On Main on social media.  I'm going to enjoy following them because Alycia has big plans down the road including a possible expansion upward from the current space.

This place might be a secret to some but sooner or later this will change.  Ft. Morgan, you're lucky to have this fantastic indie and Alycia in your community.  Patronize this fine bookstore with your presence and always remember the importance of buy local, shop local.  Congratulations Alycia.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Time Was Soft There, Jeremy Mercer.  This book made me fall in love with Paris and Shakespeare & Co Bookstore all over again.  Jeremy Mercer was a true crime journalist in Canada but when one of his contacts threatens him with his life he drops everything and goes to Paris, eventually finding himself living in the iconic bookstore under the ownership of the decades long owner, George Whitman.  You'll be able to see the bookstore and its surroundings, including Notre Dame, through this book and read about the author's experiences.  Fantastic book, highly recommended. 

CURRENTLY READING:  Leaving Berlin, Joseph Kanon. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:   Paper Lion, George Plimpton. 

I decided to follow the arrow!

$1 bargain books to browse before you even enter. 

One of the very spacious display windows. 

View looking into the store from the front entrance. 

Looking to the right from the front entrance. 

Looking to the left from the front entrance. 

In the center of the store is this very enticing and comfortable seating area.  I love it. 

The beautiful view you'll see if you take a walk over to the left side of the store. 

Many of the sidelines are crafted by talented, local artisans, like this cheese and bread board. 

Frankie's office. 

Many options on the menu. 

Storage room in the back hallway.  These books are organized and waiting to be shelved. 

A nice room in the back hallway for groups or clubs. 

Be sure to check out the fantastic paintings by talented local artist, Rick Parachini.

Another one of the many adorable bookstore dogs I've been fortunate to meet.  Frankie has a great set-up with a bed right in front of the fireplace.  Frankie has just raised the bar for bookstore dogs across the country.  If they ever figure out how to unionize, this will become standard.  Impressive. 

Some of the candles available...

...including a Fort Morgan candle.  Doubt if you find this one in another bookstore. 

An overview of the back third of the store.  I love all the tables and the seating area.  Get a drink from the cafe service and pull up a seat. 

Some of the featured selections. 

Towards the back of the store you'll find some of the audio books available. 

View looking into the children's area. 

Overview of the children's room. 

Wow, an Anna Karenina for kids. 

In the children's room you'll find this desk that I know many of you probably remember.  I sure do. 

I dare you to walk by this and not order something. 

Find the cafe counter on the rear right side of the store. 

ALWAYS ask your bookstore about gift cards. 

With Alycia and Frankie in the middle and Josie on the right, the two fine people you'll meet at Books On Main.  Thanks for a great visit. 

Saturday, April 22, 2023

TAiLS of A Bookworm - Pekin, IL

TAiLS of A Bookworm, Pekin, IL

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Almost every bookstore I've been to has a component devoted to a social cause within their community.  There are a handful that I've been to that are nearly 100% non-profit and their sales are dedicated to local causes.  That's the case with this wonderful indie in Pekin, IL, TAiLS of A Bookworm, an acronym of Tazewell Animal Improvement of Life Society.  If you're reading this, I know you're a bookworm and chances are many of you have fur babies.  Well, brace yourself for a double dose of heaven when you visit here.  It's practically half bookstore, half pet store making it a must see. 

Noah is one hip bookstore cat.  Pay him a visit. 

There's been a bookstore in this space since 2007 but it has been in its current non-profit configuration since 2019.  The store offers new and used books and unlike some indies with used books, they know exactly what they have here with everything on a data base.  Customers who bring books in can receive store credit for trade but some will simply donate their used books.  Store manager Chad K. told me they have to be a little picky about what they accept due to the stores' space  but they have options in the community with organizations who will take their donated books.  As for sidelines, they have many things here for those fur babies.  They even have cats in the store available for adoption but all had been adopted out on the day of my visit.  Like many of my recent visits, the stickers are hot here and they also have greeting cards, candles, t-shirts (featuring Noah, the bookstore cat and ambassador), puzzles, wacky socks, and just about anything else found in other top bookstores.   

I had a great time meeting Chad and Noah and hearing about the stores' mission of providing resources for animals.  Everything from adoption, to medicine, supplies, and improving the local animal shelter.  But I'm bothered that many in the community don't know about this bookstore and its admirable mission.  In fact, a customer came in during my visit and was in awe, asking have you always been here?, how long have you been here?  Pekin, wake-up and smell the coffee!  Like Chad said, some people come in just to see Noah.  And some people come in for a book and adopt a cat.  What a great cause and vital part of the business community serving Pekin.  Way to go Tazewell Animal Improvement of Life Society.  Buy a book and save a cat.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Beheld, Tarashea Nesbit.  Meh.  The premise of a murder in the newly found Plymouth village seemed good but the author didn't convey it in a very exciting manner.  Heck, it took forever before we even got to the murder.  Also, lots of back story which slowed the plot even more.  For those interested in this period of American history it might work but it didn't work for me. 

CURRENTLY READING:  Time Was Soft There, Jeremy Mercer. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Wacky socks and dog treats. 

TAiLS of A Bookworm is on the lower level. 

View looking into the store from the front entrance. 

Looking to the right from the front entrance. 

Looking to the left from the front entrance.  See that blue shopping basket in the lower left?  Grab it, you're going to need it. 

This is only a small portion of the stickers you can find here.  They have an incredible assortment. 

The bargain table near the front of the store. 

Tik Tok is a thing for book recommendations. 

I occasionally comment about adults or children who will love the store.  In this case, your pets will love the store!

Mugs make great gifts. 

Find this spinner near the front of the store for book bargains. 

A few of the greeting cards available. 

Have a comfy seat and try out a book but don't be surprised if Noah visits you. 

Get ready to browse this beautiful wall of books on the right side of the store. 

I used to see this promotion in just a few bookstores but it has really spread and now I see it almost everywhere.  I love it. 

One of the long book aisles. 

The new books are selling fast. 

You'll find new and used books in the store. 

A few of the classics offered. 

Popular candles. 

A little chair for a little reader. 

You might want to consider a tote for all the books you'll buy. 

I always enjoy seeing the new release display. 

Noah reading a book? 

A really good assortment of wacky socks. 

Something from the Candy Club....

...or Hammond's Finest chocolate. 

Normally, these kennels have cats in them for adoption but they were empty on the day of my visit.  There have been instances when some will come to the store for a book but walk out with a cat.  Way to go Bookworm!

What a bargain!  If you know any James Patterson fans, this is a must visit. 

Partial view of the children's area. 

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

Check out the Bookworm shirts and hoodies with Noah on the front. 

With Chad on the right and bookstore ambassador, Noah, two of the fine spirits at TAiLS of A Bookworm.  Thanks for a great trip.