About This Blog

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm not on board with the whole ebook thing. I enjoy books in all their formats. But there is nothing quite like a bookstore with its neatly arranged shelves of books and artfully created displays of new arrivals, best sellers, and suggested reading. I especially enjoy discovering small, independent bookstores and have made it my mission to visit and report back on as many of these gems as I can. That is my focus, but there is really nothing that is off limits as long as it is about books or reading. Hope you enjoy my blog and come back often.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Update, Book Nook & Java Shop

Book Nook & Java Shop
8726 Ferry Street
Montague, MI 49437

I've never met a bookstore that I didn't like, but for some I have developed a special fondness. I must really like the Book Nook & Java Shop. Why else would I drive for an hour and a half once a month to attend the store book club meetings. I first visited the store in November of 2011 and was impressed enough to give the book club a try. Over a year later, I am still driving once a month to lovely Montague, Michigan, not to the Book Nook I first visited, however. You see, last June the store moved to a new location just down the block from the original, and it would be a gross understatement to say that the new store is an improvement. I loved the old one, but the new one is fabulous.

For starters, the new Book Nook is much larger, and it includes a nice outdoor space perfect for relaxing on a nice day with a book and a cup of coffee. 

Yes, the store sells coffee beverages just like in the old location, but they've gone one better. Okay maybe two or three better. One of my favorite features of the new Book Nook is the wine bar, aptly named "Best Cellars." 

Along with first-rate wine selections, customers will also find a menu of soups, sandwiches, snacks, and pastries. 

In addition to a long bar with plenty of seating at tall wood bar stools, there are also small tables with comfy upholstered chairs, leather sofas, easy chairs, lamps, and occasional tables--all adding to the homey feel. A lovely two-way fireplace completes the cozy atmosphere, while nearby a beautiful old pump organ provides another special touch.

Of course the Book Nook still offers books with a selection comparable to the old store and an even larger children's section. One area also features works of art for sale by local artists. The entire space is fun, cheery, and inviting.

A discussion of the decor would not be complete without a mention of the gorgeous cut glass mosaics created by local artist, Sharon Smithem, who coincidentally also bakes pastries and makes soups for the store. 

 A wine and music themed piece adorns the space above the fireplace while a mosaic version of the store logo decorates the stage area.

That's right, I said stage. The new Book Nook has a stage big enough to hold a large piano and still have room for a band. All the comfy seating comes in handy for the many occasions when the Book Nook hosts musical guests. As I mentioned in my first post about this store, one of the owners, Bryan Uecker, is a concert pianist, so a stage for musical performances is an appropriate addition to the store's many activities.

As a matter of fact, last December I had an opportunity to visit the Book Nook, not for a book club meeting, not to buy a book, but to hear a band. And not just any band. This jazz group, Checkers Morton, includes three friends of mine from my high school band days. (Oh, the memories!) Dave Collee plays trombone and bass, Tim Froncek plays drums, and Jim Beegle plays trumpet, congas, and flute. Just home from college for winter break, my son Culver accompanied me on the drive to Montague. On the way, we stopped in nearby Muskegon to pick up my sister Sue, only fitting since she was with me on my very first visit to the Book Nook. We had something to eat, a little wine, and a fine time listening to some great jazz music.

There is much to like about this charming and unique bookstore. Visit the store web site (See link above.) for a list of upcoming musical acts and other events and activities. The old Book Nook was great, but the new Book Nook & Java Shop is even better.

Waiting for the next performers

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