Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Little Bean Books - Antioch, IL

Little Bean Books, Antioch, IL

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Antioch, IL is located in northeastern Illinois and is so close to Wisconsin you could practically lob a small book over the state line from the sidewalk in front of this delightful bookstore.  This picturesque indie is a cutie inside and out and I'm always curious about the history of bookstore buildings.  I would've never guessed from the small storefront that this was a firehouse years ago.  Booksellers Mallory B. and Skye W. told me shortly after entering that I was standing in the garage of the fire station, a space now filled with books and sidelines.  I was further amazed to discover the fire pole still in place in the back of the store in the children's area.  The transformation from fire station to bookstore by owner Angela B. and her family is very impressive.  

I didn't meet Angela on this visit but her presence is felt everywhere and the Little Bean trademark is growing.  I'm happy to say that her absence this day is because she was cutting the ribbon on a new Little Bean pop-up in nearby McHenry that will be open through the holidays.  And before Little Bean Books opened she already established the Little Bean Coffee Company, approximately one block from the bookstore.  The coffee shop is a larger space and comes in handy for larger bookstore events.

Little Bean Books is a smallish space but it's so darn cute it doesn't matter.  Despite the size it has a healthy inventory of all new books and assorted sidelines throughout the store.  If you're not in the market for a book you'll find greeting cards, bookstore candles, journals, t-shirts, and of course stickers that are popular EVERYWHERE I go.  (Honestly, if you're not selling stickers in your bookstore you should give it a go).  The store does not offer online sales at this time but that might be a possibility in the future.

As with almost all my bookstore visits, the people I meet are just the best.  Mallory and Skye were wonderful to meet and couldn't have been more patient as I yapped away.  Clearly, Angela also has a talent for hiring great people.

Little Bean Books is only about a year old so people are still discovering it.  Wake up Antioch and discover what I did.  A super bookstore, the cherry on top of a charming downtown business district.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires, Grady Hendrix.  An interesting story about a women's book club that enjoys reading about crime and mayhem.  One of the members starts noticing something odd about a lone male neighbor and is determined to expose him.  The challenge is that everyone in the community thinks this guy is great.  But children are disappearing, committing suicide or being killed along with other strange happenings that point to this "innocent" neighbor.  More gore in this than I anticipated but I can recommend it. 

CURRENTLY READING:  The Perfect Family, Robyn Harding. 

Beautiful storefront on a beautiful day to visit a bookstore in downtown Antioch

Twist my arm. 

Large display window. 

View looking into the store from the front entrance. 

I always enjoy hearing about the history of bookstore spaces.  This space was formerly a fire house.  Go back up and look at the storefront and see if you can picture the fire house. 

Looking along the left wall of the store. 

Display books for Happy Smut Girl Summer. 

The perfect place to sit and try a book or two. 

A few of the greeting cards available. 

Stickers?  Of course they have stickers!

If you're a coffee drinker or know someone who is this is a must.  I was very intrigued by this even though I'm not a big coffee drinker. 

Bookstore candles offered here and found in many other independent bookstores. 

A few of the staff picks. 

View along the right wall of the bookstore. 

Go to the back of the store and the children's area and you'll find the fire pole that was part of the firehouse. 

I'm not sure anyone can come down the fire pole anymore but if they do their landing will be cushioned by many pillows at the bottom. 

Another partial view of the children's area. 

Introduce a young reader to the Harry Potter series. 

Looking for a classic?  Proceed to these shelves.  

Check out what the book club is reading.  Better yet, consider joining!

When you enter the store, without even trying your eyes will be drawn to this very cool, large clock positioned right above the checkout counter. 

You can find the most unique things in bookstores. 

Summer reading bingo for kids.  I love this!

With Mallory in the center and Skye on the right, two of the fine booksellers at Little Bean Books.  Thanks for a great visit. 

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