Monday, June 26, 2023

MacArthur Books - Carmel, IN

MacArthur Books, Carmel, IN

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Happy Birthday to MacArthur Books who just celebrated their 1st birthday.  And what a beautiful baby this is, inside and out.  A very well-organized and neat store in a smallish space but perfectly comfy.  In their one year they're already covering every base an established store does.  Events?  Check (heck, their 1st event was before the store even opened).  Online sales?  Check.  Book Clubs?  Check (including a summer reading program for kids).  Bookstore dog?  Check (but Botticelli is a senior and he takes many days off so it was my lucky day to visit when he was in the store).  Sidelines?  Check (a variety of sidelines creatively arranged in a way that doesn't make the store feel crowded).  Experienced and knowledgeable owner?  Check (I'll say!  Cynthia has 20 years of bookstore experience and with MacArthur's, she now owns two stores.  The other one is a children's store, 4 Kids Books, named in honor of her children and her siblings).  And best of all, a very reasonable lease.  

MacArthur Books has a very pedestrian-friendly location in the village of West Clay.  Its location lends itself well to foot traffic and dog walkers which helped generate the stores' growth of regular customers.  A true neighborhood bookstore.  MacArthur's offers all new books and a wide inventory of sidelines including puzzles, journals, greeting cards, and a line of William Morris items.  The book-related candles and vinyl stickers are selling especially well.

Cynthia C. knows her business well and she would be a wonderful mentor to anyone considering opening a bookstore.  Like most of my visits, she and book seller Maddy were fanatastic to meet and visit with.

My favorite thing here (besides Botticelli) was finding out the origins of the store name.  MacArthur was the last name of Cynthia's maternal grandmother.  A woman who was a poet, an avid reader, and a mother who raised a family of four children and for many stretches of time by herself.  What a fitting and lasting tribute to a woman who I think was probably ahead or her time.  

And now Carmel, from a grandmother to her granddaughter and now to YOU, finally, your town's very own independent bookstore.  Celebrate its presence, something that should be "present" in every town.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Miss Jane, Brad Watson.  Story of Jane Chisolm, born into a poor, rural Mississippi family in the early 20th century, but born without the proper female anatomy allowing her to be fully a woman.  You can imagine in those times and in this region, a difficult situation.  The story follows her through her life and her many challenges but she was saved many times by the doctor who delivered her, educated her, and maintained his counsel for her throughout his life.  Based on a true story.  I enjoyed this one.  Recommended. 

CURRENTLY READING:  Benediction, Kent Haruf. 

Partial view of the storefront. 

The store is located in the Founders Building.  Enter here and take a left. 

Kids can start browsing before even entering the store.  I think this table display for kids outside the store is an excellent idea. 

Enter the store and look to the right, this is your view. 

Display of bestsellers just inside the entrance. 

If you live in the vicinity consider joining the book club. 

Display of western interests.  I read The Power of the Dog and loved it. 

Attractive table display of new releases. 

I always enjoy checking out the local authors on my bookstore visits. 

All genres are clearly marked with the yellow display atop shelves or the smaller black displays with white print on the bookshelves. 

Men, if you're looking for a gift for your wife or girlfriend, check out this display. 

Head to the far wall from the entrance and start browsing. 

More bestsellers. 

You can come for the books or you can come for this cutie, Botticelli.  I can neither confirm or deny his artistic talent.  I can confirm his cuteness. 

Get involved and join a book club. 

Cynthia does a great job of offering a variety of sidelines displayed throughout the store without making it feel crowded. 

Puzzles have been hot in many bookstores. 

On top of this bookshelf are just a few of the candles available. 

Classic games with a classic look.  I haven't seen these before. 

Poetry fans can come to this area. 

Me, Botticelli, and a book. 

The store features many neat table displays. 

Side room just off the main room on the right side of the store. 

Looking into the children's room. 

Overview of a beautiful children's room. 

Book clubs aren't just for adults. 

Kids will love this place. 

Looking from the back toward the front entrance. 

With Cynthia and Botticelli, the fine owner and assistant at MacArthur Books.  Thanks for a great visit. 

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