Thursday, November 2, 2023

The Book Vine - Cherokee, IA

The Book Vine, Cherokee, IA

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Periodically, readers will see best bookstore lists that are specific to individual states across the country.  For example, many of those best bookstores listed for the state of Iowa often include The Book Vine in Cherokee. Because of this and because it’s been around for 16 years I’ve know about this indie for quite awhile.  I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed and any recognition The Book Vine receives is well-deserved.  So count me as one of its legions of fans and now I’m hoping to get the word out even louder and wider that this place is worthy of its reputation and your visit.  

Before The Book Vine there was The Book Seller, a 20-year presence in Cherokee.  I’m so impressed and continually amazed by the support that any community this size (approximately 5000) has given to bookstores over the years.  The Book Vine offers mostly new books along with a few used and discounted books.  The sidelines here are extensive and felt dominant but as Cindy told me, the books are still the main part of the business.  You can also order books online if you aren’t able to visit in-person.  The most obvious sideline is the wide selection of wines.  If you’re a wine connoisseur I would encourage you to check these out.  The wines are literally from all over the world, many hand-selected from travels that owner Mollie L. and her husband have enjoyed.  As Mollie said, they try to offer wines that can’t be found just anywhere.  Additional sidelines include journals, calendars, many greeting cards, teas, stickers, and my personal favorite that I haven’t seen before, Ft. Knox milk chocolate spoons.  

The back half of the store is all for children and young readers.  I thought this area was especially good and as Mollie told me, she tries to offer games or toys that don’t require batteries.  There is also a very comfy mezzanine level.  This area is perfect for reading or a book club.  If I were a regular, this would be my area.  

Best of all are the people here that you’ll meet.  Owner Mollie along with booksellers Kendra and Cindy are what make my bookstore visits so special.  This is EXACTLY the experience I’ll take any day of the week instead of an online click and submit.  Give it a try and find out!  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.  

JUST FINISHED:  Saving Emma, Allen Eskens.  Law professor Boady and wife Dee have guardianship of Emma, the daughter of a best friend who was murdered.  But the murder was suspicious and Boady was suspected which causes a family rift in the guardianship.  At the same time, he's trying to clear a psycho from murder even though the clues are overwhelming that the psycho did it.  The two stories eventually collide in an incredible way.  Eskens is another of many super Minnesota authors.  Recommended.  Also recommend his book The Life We Bury.  Excellent.  

CURRENTLY READING:  The Drinker, Hans Fallada. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  No Exit, Taylor Adams.  History of The Spirit Lake Massacre, Abbie Gardner-Sharp.   Fort Knox 6-pack of Milk Chocolate Spoons.  Not purchased, but gifted, The Book Vine coffee mug.  Thanks Mollie!


Beautiful storefront located in downtown Cherokee. 

View looking into the store from the front entrance. 

Looking to the right from the front entrance. 

Head over to the right side of the store and begin your browsing along these shelves. 

Of course you'll need a tote bag for all your books and gifts. 

Irresistible impulse buys at the checkout counter. 

Multiple book clubs offered. 

Locally sourced honey.  Shop local, buy local. 

And for the win, 6 milk chocolate spoons.  Yes please. 

Various wines to accommodate all preferences. 

Iowa wines from Amana. 

Taking a peek into the wine room. 

Good assortment of travel books. 

A few of the greeting cards. 

Overview looking into the back of the store and the children's section. 

These are called Slumberkins, a book and stuffed animal.  Find them in the children's area. 

Another angle and overview of the children's area in the back of the store. 

Looking into the children's area from the mezzanine level. 

Overview of the mezzanine level.  I love this area. 

If you're looking for bargain books, head upstairs to the mezzanine. 

The mezzanine would be a great area to play chess. 

Another overview of the warm and comfy setting on the mezzanine. 

Overview of the store looking toward the front entrance from the mezzanine. 
A great gift for any Shakespeare fans. 

I think this is a must if you purchase wine. 

With Mollie on the left and Kendra on the right, two of the fine people you'll meet at The Book Vine.  Thanks for a great visit.

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