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.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Happy Happenstance

The Bookshelf
438 E. Edgewood Blvd.
Suite B108
Lansing, MI 48911

Thursday, June 5, 2014, the night before the theatrical release of The Fault In Our Stars. As you know by now, I have been eagerly anticipating this event. (See previous post.) I was on my way to my son's place in Lansing. As a birthday gift for me, we were driving to one of the select theaters in the country hosting "The Night Before Our Stars," a pre-release of the film followed by a live-stream event featuring author, John Green, as well as the movie's director, producer, and three of its stars. An early viewing of the movie adaptation of a book I love plus a live feed of key people from the movie and an evening with my wonderful son--it doesn't get any better than that. Oh wait! It did actually get better than that. What could make it even better? If you guessed something to do with a bookstore, you would be correct. Allow me to explain.

Fellow Michiganders will understand exactly what I am talking about when I say that in Michigan we have two seasons: winter and road construction. With traffic delays a distinct possibility and my excitement meter set on high, I hit the road for Lansing allowing a good deal of extra time. As it turns out, I met with no delays and arrived in Lansing with almost an hour to kill. So I pulled into the parking lot of a small strip mall looking for a coffee shop or other comfortable place to spend my extra time. And what was the first thing I noticed? A large sign reading, "The Bookshelf"!!! With a banner that said, "Grand Opening"!!! I couldn't believe my luck. This day just kept getting better.

Beth working the desk
The happy coincidence grew as I entered the store where the first thing I beheld was a book display featuring The Fault In Our Stars. And that's not all. I suddenly remembered having visited a bookstore last winter in the nearby town of Holt, this one also called The Bookshelf. (See earlier post.) After introducing myself to the friendly ladies manning the shop, I asked if there was any connection between the two stores. They assured me that indeed there was a connection. Bookshelf owner, Laura Spanburg, had decided to expand and open this second shop in Lansing, and she hired her niece Beth and Beth's mom Heidi to run the new Bookshelf.

Heidi hard at work
By my count, this makes Laura's third expansion, as she has already expanded the Holt store once. This new Bookshelf has much in common with the original, most notably the bargain prices. Beth informed me that they typically take 50 percent off the original publisher's price. Unlike the Holt store, the new Bookshelf does not buy and sell textbooks, and Laura has no current plans to sell used titles. But like the original store, special ordering is a service Laura proudly offers. If you can't find what you are looking for on the premises, she will do her best to locate it for you--and probably at a bargain price.

At the time of my discovery, the Lansing Bookshelf had been open only about two weeks. The bright, brand new space still has some shelves yet to be filled and walls yet to be decorated. The new shop is somewhat smaller than the original, yet boasts a nicely appointed children's area. There is also a great selection of bookmarks as well as cards, notepads, lanyards, reading lights, and the like.

From a nice selection of cookbooks, I chose Fix-It and Forget-It, a bestseller featuring recipes for slow cookers. Publisher's price--$15.95. I paid $6.99. Less than half off. It's hard to beat that kind of bargain. As I write this, I have one of those recipes simmering away in my slow cooker.

Beth and Heidi said business has been steady so far. Many people have remarked about the need for a bookstore in this area of town, and now they have one. Laura's bargain prices and special service provide a great addition to Lansing, especially for bibliomaniac bargain hunters like me. I wish you well, Lansing Bookshelf.

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