BookSmart: A new iteration?

From (where else?) Shelf Awareness:

Bookselling This Week profiles BookSmart, Morgan Hill, Calif., south of San Jose, which stocks some 50,000 titles in a 7,500-sq.-ft. space that looks like an old barn. Owners Brad Jones and Cinda Meister founded the store 14 years ago after they left longtime careers in the restaurant business. Book sales are divided about evenly between children’s and adult titles, with fiction and self-help leading adult sales. A cafe and free wi-fi are a major draw.

The store devotes about 2,000 square feet of space to toys—bestsellers are Playmobiles, science and craft sets and wooden toys from Melissa & Doug. The store also has a popular monthly arts-and-crafts event called BookSmart Art.

[Emphasis added.]

I love that this bookstore is in a barn. It may not be innovative, but it’s cool. It’s also good to include a cafe and free wireless internet access. Again, not really new, though. What really caught my attention is that BookSmart has regular arts/crafts events. Of course, I don’t know what that really looks like, but the idea the words conjure in my head is pretty neat. Although local bookstores are “breeding grounds for … creativity,”* I don’t see those two intentionally mixed in the bookstores I visit. Sounds like something that should happen more, though. Perhaps my reason for liking this idea is that words and arts/crafts are two of my loves, two that I struggle to bring together but seem to be destined for separation forever.

*The quote was also from Shelf Awareness, originally in the Daily Texan, the student newspaper for University of Texas at Austin. Amanda Patterson wrote the short opinion piece.


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