Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bookstore Heaven

We are in the "stay-cation" portion of our summer vacation.  Week one was happily spent in sand and pools while week two finds us adventuring in the region close to our home.  As we travelled to one of our favorite haunts a few towns away, we took a small detour because my Man mentioned that the new Barnes and Noble in that area should be close to being completed.
"Don't wreck or anything," he said, "but if you can see off in that clearing, that's where they are building it."  (I would like to comment at this point that it's been well over a decade since I've logged any fender benders so, I'm not sure why the warning about wrecking was included, but in the excitement of a new bookstore, I let it slide without comment.  I guess this counts as the comment ;-)).

We decided to exit (without wrecking) and check things out.  As the silver bullet climbed the hill and made the turn into what we assumed would be a bookstore parking lot, we saw instead an entire shopping center with very unique stores and restaurants, each of which, seemed enormous in their size and scope.  The Barnes and Noble that initially drew us to this location stood in the center of it all.  We piled from the car in eager anticipation...

Know this...we Wrights take our bookstores very seriously.  They must meet some very high standards to be put on our LIST.  Our list of bookstores is long, but the list of bookstores that we load the children into the car and drive more than 40 miles to visit is short and sweet!  Stores must have a descent religion section to keep my Man interested.  The mystery section must be current and overflowing with titles for me.  A cooking section that has at least a few new titles is always a plus, but not mandatory.  My favorite section is the fiction/literature section, and this section varies from store to store, but the wider the range of books available in this section, the better!

The very most vital section in any bookstore for us is the children's section, but not for the reasons you may assume.  We don't value the kids' section over all the others because we need a good selection for the creation of well-rounded readers (we go to the library for that!).  We need a good children's section so that the children will be properly entertained while the adults take turns looking for books!  One of us looks in "our section" while the other oversees the kids and then we trade places.  The better the kid's section in the bookstore, the more peaceful the person on kid duty remains and the more we enjoy the bookstore as a family.  That's how we roll!

Upon entering the new Barnes & Noble we were a bit impressed with the overall size of the store.  The kids made a beeline to the children's section, which in most B&Ns is a treat. Entering the children's section of this particular B&N left my little crew of book lovers speechless!

The above picture shows merely one half of the kid's section.  The other half was anchored by what our girls refer to as the "stage area" which all B&Ns have, but not quite to this level of grandeur...

This children's section ROCKED! Half of it was filled with toys and games, the other half stocked to the brim with good books.  Child-size tables and chairs were scattered throughout invitingly.

 B&N is deep into its Summer Reading Program, as are all bookstores and libraries worth their while, and the displays showed as much.

This is the new John Grisham for kids.  Cole finished it at the beach and said that it was excellent and did I think that the Grisham books written for adults were too old for him--um YES!  This book is, of course, the first in a series, so we will be eagerly awaiting its release in months to come.

The toys that lined the ample shelves were of the high quality, high creativity sort.

My sisters and I had something like this when we were little, except Barbie was the "scientist" in our set.
Back on the side with the books, we found some familiar friends...

"Mouse" was there, as was Curious George, Pooh Bear was up in a tree across the room, and the Cat in the Hat looked down on us from the wall.

This children's section had its very own cookbook section.  These "Princess" books are on my short-list for purchase soon!  I've been stalking them for a few months now.  New ones keep appearing on bookstore shelves all over.  There are loads of cute food ideas between these covers!

As we were taking in all of the wonders that were, I noticed a young man with a green apron walking around carrying a tray on which a dozen or so of these...

...were arranged.  Behold! A sample of a Vanilla Bean Frappiccino with a splash of cherry flavoring! Oh MY!  It's a good thing I enjoyed my first sip because I was all too soon asked to hand it over...

...and it's hard to say "no" to that cute little sun-speckled nose! One wonders sometimes if free samples are really lucrative for the establishment offering them...

Wonder no more.

Mmmm mmmm mmmmm.

I would love to give you a report on the literature section, or the cookbook section, or even the religion section but I can't!  Seems we never really made it out of the children's section!!

1 comment:

Frank said...

frank would like to know where this Barnes and Nobles' is?


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