There's a new bookstore in town. A much needed new bookstore. B. Dalton closed in December leaving the town stranded with the choices at department stores (Wal-Mart, Target and Shopko), the library, and a used bookstore. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with any of these book sources. Department stores are often more inexpensive than bookstore or online sources. They also have limited selections and variety. I'm a fan of the library. My kids and I often spend snowy or rainy weekends there. It's due dates that usually hang me up. I also support recycling books - by either a used bookstore or my favorite site: paperbackswap. But sometimes I get a little impatient. I need that book right.NOW. And I finally have the solution. More Than Words Bookstore (check them out on FaceBook!).
I almost didn't go. A friend of mine went and walked away less than impressed. I had already told The Spawn that we were going and he wasn't going to let me back out of it, though, so off we went. And learned a lesson in perspectives as well. My friend is used to going to a huge Barnes & Noble complete with Starbucks every (or at least most) weekends. I haven't stepped foot in a Barnes & Noble in four years. At least.
Love. Love. Love More Than Words Bookstore. The Spawn was equally impressed, enough so that he called his dad begging to go back over the weekend. So what did we love about the place...
The smell of new books. (Okay, so we're a little easy to please!) It's like the new tape smell, or the new car smell. You can't help but breathe deep. To take deep gulping breaths of sweetly tainted air. It's a bookworm's high.
Atmosphere. I don't know if the ladies who opened the store managed this intentionally with the help of an interior designer, by luck or if they're really that good. But the floors, the color scheme, the variety of book shelving, even the arrangement of areas all seemed perfectly combined to be relaxing. The pictures don't do it justice. I can easily see myself losing several hours in this place. In fact, I spent 45 minutes in book heaven that night and I'm feeling the effects of withdrawal two days later... Even though the store was fairly busy for a week night, it wasn't noisy or crowded. Oddly, I can't remember if there was ambience music playing or not. I always notice ambience music or the lack thereof.
Several things really impressed me about the layout. The young children's section (for The Diva) was separate-yet-not from the rest of the store. The selection was very good, and it wasn't the usual classics/TV character books that I've come to expect. There were books that I'd never heard of. Books that I desperately want to get for her. They even have a little bean bag and table & chair seating area for kids!
The next section was the older kids/teens/young adults (for The Spawn). As he's a little more knowledgeable regarding the books in this section, I'm allowing him to be the judge of it's coolness: "It's freaking awesome! Woohoo!" He seemed ecsatic over the selection. I noticed that it was more of the popular/best selling titles and authors, but I really didn't spend much time looking over this section and left The Spawn to his own book browsing.
I really didn't know what to expect when I entered "my" section of the store. My friend had warned me that the selection was limited, they only had one book of some titles, the store only seemed to stock the owners' favorite authors, and had a cheap shelf of Harlequin romances. I ran through the mental wishlist in my head and started looking. My reading taste is varied. I've even been known to call myself a book whore because I will read anything that catches my interest, might possibly catch my interest or someone says is a good book. (So many books, so little time.) I decided that if they could fill 50% of my wishlist off the rack, they would pass my initial inspection. They did so much better. One book. There was one book out of about 30 that they didn't have, and it was a graphic novel that may or may not be released yet. I'm impressed. Oh, and the Harlequins? Other than the romance novels I was expecting to find in *gasp* the Romance section, there was one small 2'x2' shelf that was far from full.
There is a seating area with a couch, a few chairs, a nice rug, tables for holding your coffee mug, and nice potted plants next to the window. I can see myself relaxing here, cozying up with a pile of books to browse and choose from.
There are two things that I can't review at this time: prices and the coffee service. In all honesty, I didn't check out either. I expect that the prices will be on par with any bookstore, although as time goes on I will be interested to see if they develop a clearance section of some type. As for the coffee, I will probably be checking it out in the (near) future, but I'm going there for the books.
Overall, for a small bookstore that just opened, I give More Than Words a four star rating.
**Pictures hopefully coming soon, pending owners approval.**