Two book events in one week? Have I died and gone to heaven? This past Saturday was National Independent Bookstore Day and we went to two different stores to show our support. Our first stop was a new-to-me, mostly used bookstore on Kinnickinnic Avenue. Voyageur Book Shop opened 13 months ago at their prime Bay View location, but didn’t see a lot of traffic until they put up their awesome new street sign last month. I must admit, I am completely guilty of driving and walking by many times, and I had no idea there was a bookstore there. I am happy to hear business has picked up, it will be nice to have a local used book store within walking distance!
Prices were pretty reasonable at about $8 on average for paperbacks and $10-14 for hardcovers. I was able to add to my Louise Penny collection (I’m slowly completing the Inspector Gamache series) and also grabbed Anne Patchett’s “State of Wonder.” We read “Bel Canto” (possibly Patchett’s most famous work) for book club and it is definitely a book that has stuck with me, so I thought I’d give something else by her a try. My final purchase was the historical time travel novel “Outlander” by Diane Gabaldon (the book that inspired the show on Starz). I have heard great things and was thinking about using this book to fulfill the “Book Over 600 Pages” category for my 2017 Reading Challenge. Beast of Booktopia also picked up “All the Pretty Horses” to add to our home library. All in all- a great haul!
Our second stop was at the East Side’s Boswell Book Company. The Kristin Hannah event I wrote about earlier this week was hosted by Boswell, and I have attended many of their wonderful events either in store or out in the community (This past year alone I saw Brit Bennet author of “The Mothers” and Gail Carson Levine author of “Ella Enchanted“). Boswell opened in 2009, replacing the Downer Ave location of Milwaukee darling Harry W Schwartz Bookshop, a beloved small chain of bookstores that unfortunately had to close after the economic downturn. As I mentioned, the store hosts several events each week, has three monthly bookclubs, and direct access to the Starbucks next door.
Unlike Voyageur, Boswell almost entirely stocks new books and also has a wide variety of bookish gifts (including the awesome library card socks pictured above that Beast of Booktopia surprised me with!). They will definitely be more on par with Barnes and Nobel price wise, and yes you could save money and buy from Amazon, but there’s something to be said about supporting a local business that gives back and builds community in such great ways! They also have a free rewards program where you earn credit towards future purchases. Because I procured quite the haul at Voyageur, I only purchased one book at Boswell, and it’s one I’ve had my eye on for ages. “Caraval” by Stephanie Garber is a YA fantasy romance novel that has drawn comparison to “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern, one of my favorites. I cannot wait to read this one! In addition to my socks, Beast of Booktopia also bought “The Fireman” by Joe Hill, aka Joe King aka Stephen King’s son. I’m pretty impressed- he’s already made a dent in this 700+ page monstrocity! Good job honey!
After a very hard week, it was a great day that really took our mind off things! What are your favorite bookstores or places to buy bookish things? Have you ever scored a great find at a used or independent bookstore? I’d love to hear about it! But until then…
“Off to the cupboard with you now, Chip. It’s past your bedtime. Goodnight, love…”