Hello. Big announcement. Get ready.

So.

There’s something I’ve wanted to do my whole life and it’s always seemed like a pipe dream because I’m easily overwhelmed and forever terrified, but recently I’ve learned that if you don’t at least try you never actually have a chance of it coming true.  I also know that I let my anxiety trip me up and paralyze me and sometimes the only way that I actually accomplish anything is by writing about it so that it becomes true and also so that you guys can yell at me when I start to doubt myself and hide.

So, after years of thinking about it…I think I’m going to open a real, live bookstore.

Wow.  That’s scary to even write.

It will be smallish and independent and will be filled with all the books that I want to read and that I want you to read too.  It will have space for authors to come and talk, and for readers to hide away in cubbies, and for groups to meet for book clubs and writing workshops.  It will have a small space for writers who need to write but who also want to not just hide away in their houses all day.  And I’ll be there too, writing and working and asking random readers if I can read the chapter I’m working on to them.

In my mind it is filled with shop cats and surprise ferrets and a margarita bar and old wooden shelves and new, lovely books and people who won’t talk to you unless you totally want them to.  In Victor’s mind I’m not allowed to bring any animals into the bookstore unless they’re strapped to my chest in a Baby Bjorn so that they don’t snuggle with people who don’t like ferrets.  I disagree because I don’t think those people exist and also Victor just read this post and said that he never agreed strap-on chest ferrets but I guess these are the things we’ll need to work out as responsible business people.

There will be online clubs so that you can drop in to the store every week even if you don’t live in San Antonio, and live-streamed events where you can show up in your pajamas at the store or from your laptop, and one day if it makes a profit I’ll have bookmobile so that I can drive around to book deserts like my hometown which currently has no bookshop and makes me very sad.  Also, the bookmobile will be filled with adoptable rescue kittens and raspberry donuts and I’ll pick up people along the way and we’ll go on road trips to visit authors and give out free books to kids AND OMG I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS.

*deep breath*

Sorry.

So here’s where you come in.

I have a lot of ideas and surprises that I’m working on but honestly I’d love to hear your ideas.  What makes a bookstore great for you?  What should we totally have or not have?  What’s your favorite bookshop ever and why?

And if you live locally I have another favor.  I’ve found a few spaces that are nice but maybe not perfect so I’m asking for your eyes because I don’t want miss something amazing.  Do you know of an open space in San Antonio that needs a bookshop?  Victor is leaning toward something in a nice, new shopping center with lots of light and a small bar and great landlords.  I’m leaning toward a haunted Victorian with a friendly ghost and giant chairs and maybe it’s also infested with otters.  We both agree that it should be 2800 to 4500 square feet with lots of parking for events and wonderful, lovely energy.

Thoughts?

1,451 thoughts on “Hello. Big announcement. Get ready.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I know you want feedback but all that comes to mind is that no matter what you do, your bookstore will be the stuff of our dreams and successful beyond measure—because of YOU. All you do is win with us, Jenny. And this gorgeous endeavor just further proves it.

  2. I think this is a terrific idea Jenny and knowing you have a global audience, I hope you’ll be prepared when there are so many international visitors wishing to visit.

    In the back of my mind I’m reminded of the UK comedy, Black Books, which was terrifically funny and I can just see your book store being a place of great joy and mirth and happiness and laughing and full of stuffed animals and giant metal chickens.

    (I LOVE BLACK BOOKS. ~ Jenny)

  3. Just a cozy place with drinks & nosh in addition to books to make it more “more frequently go-able.” I also offer up my book loving trained pastry chef daughter to you. She’s pretty awesome, as are you.

  4. OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! Run the numbers on mass public energy (Victor’s space idea) vs. your niche group. If you’re going to do the thing, make it something you LOVE. Make it the space YOU love. Also. I’ll be in SA this weekend and I kinda want to run away from family so I can scope out places for you. OH MY GOD!!!

  5. Every bookstore should have its own cat. Every great bookstore I have been in has this. I can live without food/drink areas, but one of the things I loved about the old Barnes and Noble in NYC was the couches and chairs in little unexpected hidden away areas, so you could browse a book in a comfy setting or read the book you just bought because you weren’t quite read to join the throngs of civilization outside the door.

  6. A Very Important Question: What is the name of this store?

    And it needs to have one of those bookshelves that swings open when you move the right book, to reveal a secret room!

    (YES! And I do have a name but I’m waiting to make sure that it works for the space, you know? When I find the space I’ll totally announce it. 🙂 ~ Jenny)

  7. My favorite bookstore of all time is Square Books in my hometown of Oxford, MS. Google it! They’re cozy, locally owned, and since the bookstore is so beloved, there are big expectations and requirements of the staff to have super impressive knowledge of literature. Best of all, there’s a little counter upstairs that sells ice cream, cookies, coffee, tea, etc, and you can go out on their balcony to read and enjoy your treats! What makes a bookstore perfect, more than anything, is the staff; get good people and you’ll be humming with bookstore ecstacy!

  8. OMG! Surprise ferrets! All due respect to Victor, but EVERYONE loves ferrets. Also, the little beasts will snaffle people’s jewelry, so they’ll pull their own weight.
    I have no local pull, but I love your ideas; especially the online bit.

  9. Hi

    I have a BA in Business and Management from ALVERNO College. I am the CEO of WhiteTurtle Rainbow Native American Media Co. First you need to start with a business plan which is your map to success. Contact me for tips.

    Wenona Gardner
    White Turtle Rainbow
    Business@WenonaGardner.com
    (414)391-0565

  10. As a librarian and a previous bookstore employee, I think there are a few “musts” for any bookstore: comfy places to sit ; a place to get tea and scones ; a selection of local authors ; staff favorites on display ; separate kids and teens sections if possible (for everyone’s sake, really). Good luck, and I’m looking forward to visiting your store in the future! 😀

  11. What you described so far sounds like exactly what I’d do if I could do such a thing. Especially full of shop cats! In fact, when I was getting my MFA, we would often discuss what our perfect bookstore would be like (when we were rich writers and could afford such a thing LOL), and most people came pretty close to your idea. If only I lived near you – I’d totally go there. Or work there. Maybe some day I’ll at least visit or even have a book in it. Keep working on it – it’s a wonderful idea!!!

  12. I second the vote for otters!
    Personally, I can live without the ferrets because sometimes they bite and smell, but sometimes they’re nice, so I could go either way on that one.
    But not a mall Victor, not a mall….

  13. Maybe a used book section? People can bring in a book and grab a book. Or you buy the used books for really cheap and can exchange them when you get done. Love your ideas!!!! 🙂

  14. I have never been to San Antonio, but I definitely would just to visit your book store.

  15. I am in LOVE with this idea and I hope to one day visit your shop! I think it sounds amazing just as you described (sorry Victor), animals and all.

  16. Maybe a book trade, where you can trade in books you no longer want for new ones you DO want. And maybe a sign that lets people know that it’s ok to read the books, because I was once asked to leave a book store because I was reading a magazine, and they told me it wasn’t a library.
    Also, Victor doesn’t understand about the ferrets.
    And I vote for the margarita bar. But only if they are BLENDED margaritas, not on the rocks ones, because those are blasphemy.

  17. That sounds so exciting. I love bookstores, especially small mom and pop ones. You should definitely do this, people will enjoy it. Remember the movie- you’ve got mail? A bookstore that Meg Ryan had in that movie would be awesome.

  18. My favorite book store is Farley’s in New Hope, PA (where i live) and it’s my favorite because they never look at me funny when I ask them to order some weird book they’ve never heard of and also they have a CAT, named Butter. And he is awesome, and also doesn’t look at me funny, when I ask him if he knows where I can find the book I’m looking for!

  19. Comfy chairs and access to hot beverages. Doesn’t have to be a fancy barista type thing, even just a regular drip coffee pot and people could bring their own cup. Oh, and soft blankets.

  20. I am so very glad to live in SA. Perhaps a play area so isolated moms/dads can come and have some actual human interaction?

  21. My favorite was Barber’s Book Store in downtown Fort Worth. Unfortunately closed several years ago – Larry McMurtry bought most of the books. I loved it because it had stacks of books in unexpected places, a spiral staircase to a small upstairs with books everywhere. Messy, surprising, old. There was a small balcony overlooking the main floor. I’m excited for you!

  22. I really like when bookstores have handwritten cards with their suggestions or picks for the month – Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor does this.

  23. I AM SO EXCITED TO LIVE IN SAN ANTONIO!!
    I’ll keep
    My eyes peeled! Monte Vista area sounds like the Victorian option!!

  24. YES! Can I move there and work for you? I see comfy couches, kitties, pastries, etc.

  25. Oh, oh, oh, AND. If you don’t want to deal with serving food right off, see if you can find a space that’s near a food place that you like, and invite people to bring their food in with them.

    And cupholders. Definitely cupholders, you’ll need those.

  26. Omg this is amazing! I would take regular firewood trips from Austin to support you and snuggle with ferrets and otters. <3

  27. Omg this is So exciting! I wish I lived in Texas! All I can think of is The Shop Around the Corner from “You’ve Got Mail.”
    I’m so very excited for you! Thanks for sharing! I know it’ll be the perfect place for visitors to lose themselves and feel safe and welcomed.

    Best of luck!
    Lori

  28. Ooooohhh! Such fun! It will be fabulous, and you will need a small shop dog, along with the cats, at the very least. And carpet slippers, probably quite a lot of them, for visitors… Creaky floors and poetry nooks? If Hertfordshire UK wasn’t q u i t e so far away it would definitely be my regular haunt. How wonderful, enjoy it! xx

  29. I love the idea and if I make it to San Antonio from Alberta Canada I will look you up! My favorite bookstore was like a house with different rooms full of books. I also like a nice comfy chair to see if I like the book that I am thinking of buying – if I read the first few pages and want to keep reading – I buy it! that’s my version anyway! Good Luck!!!!

  30. Check out The Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis. It’s a children’s book store but it has birds, rats, ferrets, and free-roaming cats and fancy chickens.

  31. This is so exciting!! I was just at a Victorian restaurant in NY. Can I share pictures with you?

  32. How exciting! My bff and I have always wanted to do the same. I admire you for moving forward with this!!! 🙂

    My favorite places have always just embodied the word ‘cozy’. You feel it when you walk in, you know its ok to sit and read for a while, the people are friendly (and of course there are some animals). etc. If you have the means to put in a little coffee shop that might also be nice. When I imagine the cozy store I envision smelling coffee and books.

    Congratulations! I hope to visit from CA one day.

  33. Yes to otters!
    So-so on ferrets.
    And malls…blech. Victorian is so far better that I’m amazed Victor would suggest otherwise.
    Now I hope to make it to visit this future store one day!

  34. Omg, now I have an even better reason to visit Texas. I suggest a coffee bar in the store (I used to work as a batista at Borders beefier they closed) and make sure you have comfy chairs. Maybe have a section for local artists to display their wares? If love to have some of my fiber arts in display. Lots of painters and photographers will be willing to have things on display and fit sake at a commission price. Something to think about. If you need any help with setting it up or stuff like that send me a message. I’m on you Facebook friends

  35. Oh holy buckets yes! Jenny! Yes, this is indeed magical, and makes total sense for you. My wife and I used to work at a local, independent bookstore in Laguna Beach (Latitude 33, which has since closed, sadly). It was a wondrous experience. Best parts: Shop animals (we brought our Labradors in), even dressed them up in “33% off books” signs; opportunity to highlight some of our favorite books and authors in weird and wacky ways (fun themes, personalized reviews); intimate author readings with wine; and just a beautiful book-nerd camaraderie. That’s the best part about an independent bookshop: the people who know your name, engage with you, interested in your story. When you do that, it’s so much more intimate and personal to recommend books. Also and yes: 100% otters.

  36. It sounds so great!!!! I would love for it to be public transit accessible, and also for there be lots of paperback romance novels.

  37. That is awesome, i am glad you were able to overcome your fear with this endeavor. Congratulations on that 🙂 Wish i was in san antonio to see your final product 🙂 i am sure it will be great. I know a good bookstore needs confy places to sit and relax to read over what you might want to purchase and read. So bean bags are nice 🙂 and the smell of fresh bakes cookies :)And like almost an overload of colors and pictures 🙂

  38. You are a rockstar and if you want to expand in to Austin, I am totally your girl. Love you friend!

  39. Yay!!!!!!!!!!! You need at least one shop cat. And preferably a portal for those of us who live 9 and a half hours away.

  40. Featuring local authors is always nice. You could host book signings, etc. for small indie folks in the area. (A local bookstore gave me my first chance for a book signing and it was invaluable — and not so huge that it was too much for me to handle.)

    I love the idea of converting an old house or store. And yes, yes, YES to bookshop kitties! Good luck, and HOORAY — this is a fantastic idea!

  41. Customer summaries/reviews of books they have read, recommendations for other books like it.
    Extremely old/worn/secondhand comfy chairs.
    A store cat (or two).
    Ability to quickly order something in if you don’t have it, so I can support that shop instead of Jeff Bezos.

  42. Yesssssssssss! This is a great thing. My favorite bookstore is The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles. It is a beautiful space filled with used books, art, art made from used books, and comfy nooks for sitting and reading, and people who love books. http://lastbookstorela.com/

  43. I love bookstores where I can find little nooks and crannies and old comfy chairs where I can just get lost in the books. I cannot wait to visit!

  44. I absolutely love this idea. This is how I was introduced to you which do the second book that you wrote and I liked it so much I had to go get the first one. I was so sad because I don’t live out there but then you said you would have live streaming so I could be there in my pajamas. The best things I like about bookstores are being able to hold the book in my hand and not feel rushed about if I want it. The thing I like least about bookstores is that there’s so many books that I want and I can’t have them all.

  45. Pages Bookshop in Calgary, Alberta, Canada has an amazing vibe, and wonderful staff. The greatest part for me is that they stock new books, but they also have a basement which is dedicated to used and/or discounted over-stock books. It makes it a great place for people like me who can SOMETIMES buy new books, but often can’t justify the price and instead opt to buy used books.
    I will continue to send tips whenever you ask because bookstores are AMAZING!!!

  46. Oooh little cubbies to hide away in! I was in a book store the other day and couldn’t find one chair to sit down and read a couple covers in! Your cubbies sound lovely and I absolutely love this dream!

  47. Haunted is non-negotiable. Also, don’t forget your local library – they’d be great partners, possibly, in bringing in authors, getting the word out to local writers, etc., maybe hosting events in your store as off-site deals. Those of us deeply allergic to animals, can you have theme days where maybe I can avoid cat (or specify another regular animal visitor) day?

  48. I love this idea! It is fantastic!! Sounds exactly like a place I would want to go… and may never want to leave.

  49. Wow! That is so incredible! Way to manifest a dream! I always love feeling like I’ve discovered a gem: a little brick building, or a shop in an alley, or a place with little reading nooks or the sun coming in a window and warming a kitty. But you should make it yours! Maybe you’ll find that perfect place that both you and Victor love. Either way it looks like I’ll have to plan a bookstore road trip in the future!

  50. We WILL HELP. This is going to be great. You should reach out to Ann Patchett – another author who took the bookstore plunge

  51. Oh and I asked my friend Amanda in San Antonio if she knows of anything. And you would TOTALLY love her.

  52. Maybe a used book section where people can bring a book and trade for another book or pay a small fee for a book like$5 and then exchange it when they’re done. It’s going to be awesome 😊 you’re going to make it great!

  53. This is amazing! I’m glad you’re including things for those of us not fortunate enough to live nearby. I’ll be thinking, but congratulations!

  54. I LOVE the smell of books. As long as it has book smell, I may try to move in.

  55. This is amazing!!! This will be a real life destination. Every bookstore needs comfy seating, not just chairs but couches and maybe even pillows on the floor. I’ll definitely go there.

  56. You had me at Margaritas. But then my logical side kicked in and was all but then she’ll need a liquor license or permits and things of that boozy nature. Argh. I’ll be there either way. So excited for you!!!

  57. OMG this is AMAZING!! I look forward to the many future road trips from Austin to your bookstore to snuggle with ferrets and otters.

  58. Oh my fish!!! This sounds amazing!! I love the idea of store ferrets and donut bookmobiles and cubbies to hide in. This would absolutely get a high ranking of places to visit on my bucket list! I’ve only been to TX once for business. I think I could summon enough spoons to go again. Congrats on making the big announcement!

  59. I’m in Kalamazoo, Mi (Samantha Irby land). We have a bookstore aptly named This Is A Bookstore. It’s local. It has a great vibe. Room for author events. A BAR. Ithink they have a great business model if you need inspiration. BEST WISHES on this adventure! If I ever get to Texas I will come see what you have created.

  60. This sounds amazing! It should definitely have tea (or coffee for coffee people) and comfy furniture, used books, and maybe 1 day a week for therapy dogs (with some training/experience).

  61. Please, a haunted “Victorian” with comfy places to read, live plants & red wine!

  62. Please, please, please sign up for a bookseller boot camp program if you haven’t already. I’ve worked for a used book chain for over a decade, and I can say everyone underestimates how much work needs to be done to create a successful bookstore. Everyone thinks of the fun bits, but not the mechanics of everyday business. Please be prepared.

  63. OMG I’m SO happy for you!! This will be fantastic, and it makes me wish I lived in San Antonio (and after living in Houston for a year before moving back to the MN tundra so that’s sayin’ something). My favorite bookstore in my ‘hood is, oddly enough, the B&N: they still have big comfy chairs and coffee/tea/drinks and food and I hang out there to have breakfast and read magazines or new books every Saturday morning. It’s a ritual that keeps me sane, and I’ll be devastated if they ever get rid of the huge armchairs. Can I join your online book clubs??

  64. Can you call it Knock Knock Motherfucker or does San Antonio frown on that kind of thing? What a great idea, I wish you were here in Vancouver…I’d go haunted Victorian personally. Or at least non-shopping mall of any sort.

  65. You absolutely must put on rotating display items you’ve mentioned over the years: giant metal chicken, haunted chair, etc.

  66. YES. Haunted Victorian with small bar. Sounds like my UserName on OldPeople.com

  67. Definitely the haunted victorian with large overstuffed armchairs hidden in corners where people can curl up with a book and read. I think if you manage to combine the feel of a small town library with a book store and possibly a small cafe that you’ll create something truly magical and it will become a home away from home for many people and a sanctuary for those who need it.

  68. Ferrets? I’m in. @fatelvis04 and I will be there shortly. And books.

  69. Comfy seating. Great books. Fun employees with senses of humor. Art. Quirkiness. Animals

    Chelle

  70. Honestly, I feel that you need a bookstore cat. Come on. And chairs, but then you’ve already said you’ll have chairs. And if you carry lifestyle items, then the bare minimum of lifestyle items. (The chain store in my neighbourhood keeps adding more mugs and throw pillows and subtracting books, and it’s just, it’s upsetting.)

  71. My favorite book stores have wonderful reading areas, and while they have good lighting, aren’t over lit. No matter what, your bookstore will be awesome because of you. And now I need to go to San Antonio so I can snuggle cats and ferrets.

  72. Ooo, ooo, ooo (frantically waiving hand)!!! Can I come work for you? I even have bookstore experience (and cat and ferret experience, too); I can even make a margarita. 🙂

  73. My favorite thing in a bookstore is well-labeled shelves, armchairs in corners so you don’t have to plop in the aisle to read a book, friendly staff people who are also book people, and maybe some kind of snack source so I don’t have to leave for a while. I also am a fan of cute stationery in bookstores. And my favorite bookstore ever is Malaprops in Asheville. They know how to do it and I have spent hours in there. Oh, and also if you plan to have a kids’ section some kind of beanbag pile or pillow pit so kids can cozy in with their book. Oh, and also hammocks or hammock chairs would be amazing.

  74. So, not the house with the haunted attic chair, you’re saying? 😉

    I believe comfortable chairs are the most critical factor. And at least one cat, regardless of what the health department says.

  75. I think this is the most amazing thing I have heard in like forever! You build it and I will come and visit!

  76. The store needs big comfy chairs in all the colors!
    YOU will do GREAT! Hugs.

  77. My favorite bookstore in my town is also a cafe – lots of space for meetings and yummy food and a children’s area and a really great, wonderfully curated selection of books.

  78. My only contribution to this discussion: I think Beyonce the Chicken should live there, if you still have her

  79. YES! You need a tiny cafe with awesome baristas who can make things with italian sounding names, and also big floofy chairs and a bookstore cat. Named Ivan or Fyodor or Frodo or Austen or Galahad or Krinkle.

  80. The Victorian sounds awesome. Then you could showcase some of your doll houses. Cozy chairs that feel like a hug. Tea shop. Home-y feel.
    Well rounded metaphysical/occult/pagan section.

  81. This is such an amazing idea!!! Please include a kids mental health books it’s so needed and never in stores..a place where these stories just mix with other kids stories and are the norm not a scarey ‘section’, and of course very selfishly I hope one day my silly limbic kids books may be stocked there:)

  82. I didn’t even read the whole post yet because I had to rush down here and tell you that I just finished reading (and LOVING) Ann Patchett’s “Commonwealth” which is probably why my first thought was “HOORAY!!! Now I have two author-owned-bookstore-visits on my bucket list!!!”
    Ok…back to reading your actual blog post!

  83. This is fantastic and I’m totally jealous that it’s nowhere near me but I’m still so excited for you and for San Antonio and I think it would be wonderful if there was always coffee and tea for people to drink and rooms where other groups besides book clubs (like knitting groups or LGBTQIA+ groups) could also meet and maybe even nooks where you could hide from the world for a few minutes while taking a breather from people. I’m all for shop pets. I think the best book stores are cozy and lit enough to read by, but not OMG that’s a BRIGHT FLOURESCENT LIGHT lit. And socks. You should sell socks.

  84. I am sooo excited for you, and think this is a wonderful idea. All m favorite bookstores have always had a cat. Just one, but it was large and mellow and just spent the day dozing on top of a stack of books on the counter or in a cozy bed and tolerated people who wanted to pet him. As for the books, I utterly trust your judgement!

  85. Like the grinch my heart grew three sizes. My favorite bookstore is the last bookstore in downtown Los Angeles. It has all these nooks and crannies and unique decorations. I feel like I can disappear into the books. I don’t like how exposed I always felt in a Borders and some of the other large book chains. Also a giant fish tank. My local library (called the Thousand Oaks Public Library in Thousand Oaks CA) has a huge fish tank that connects the children’t section to the rest of the library. It’s my favorite place to get work done. I sit in a big oversized chair and read and watch the fish. It’s so peaceful. I hope Victor doesn’t hate fish too.

  86. Tea or coffee and water should be available for everyone who come in the store with if possible sweets like cake and cookies and chocolates it makes life so agreeable !dont you think

  87. That is sooooo cool and awesome. Proud of ya!!!!
    Suggest: a small section for used books for trade or lending to others; donate some profits to help the homeless; coffee FO SHO! Buy enuf, get your card punched, get a freebie!!!
    You’re great. I wanna make a trip to Texas now and visit the establishment when it ooens

  88. My favorite books stores are the ones that feel like a lazy treasure hunt, where I know something will be found around the next corner. I don’t know what makes a place have that quality, but I am pretty sure it’s not fluorescent lights. Elliot Bay Bookstore in Seattle feels that way, Barnes & Noble does not. Also, make sure it’s not filled with mean people.

  89. Shakespeare & Company in Paris is a beautiful book shop – it has tiny writing nooks for writers and a round cat asleep on one till so we had to use the other.

    Bookmobile with adoptable kittens sounds awesome!

  90. Look at the Battery Book Exchange in Asheville for ideas. People come in, bring their dogs, have some wine…..events like Tarot readings and book clubs and interesting furnishings and little alcoves all over the place!

  91. I’ve worked in several bookstores- both funky and corporate.About the only thing I would offer up is that there should be very good bathrooms, with excellent plumbing (REALLY IMPORTANT- there are so many reasons…), and accessibility should be paramount. One of the coolest places I worked was not wheelchair accessible on two of the three floors. This was not acceptable in the 90s, and still isn’t. So run with it! Have fun! I am so thrilled for you!!! Also, space for readings and maybe live music from time to time is always a super cool feature.

  92. I love a bookstore with space for writing/working, ample outlets and available consumables. When writing, I prefer a space I’m welcomed to sit and work all day, purchasing as much food & drink as I need (bonus points for a “bottomless cop of coffee” option) without having to leave the building, hunt something down, and return hoping nobody has taken the only janky electrical outlet in the building.

    Brilliant idea. YOU GOT THIS.

  93. This is an amazing idea. How exciting. I wish I lived closer so I could come and write there every day. For me a bookstore has to have a cosy, welcoming feel. Inviting decor and colours. I love the idea of cats and/or ferrets. Having drinks of some sort is a bonus, but it really is about the atmosphere.

  94. Leather, or pleather couches and seating, with a strict policy of bringing in your fav pillow and lap blanket.

  95. I’m for the haunted Victorian. And I love this idea so much I would travel to come help make it everything you want. I’m totally in, where do I sign up? Also I would relocate and work there for cheap. Because this might be the best idea I’ve ever heard.
    ‘Surprise ferrets’ 😂😂😂

  96. YES! I’m in ATX and I will be coming! Please, if you have cats wandering, then no carpet – as I’m allergic! Please have lots of comfy chairs and couches and the sweet kind of chai!

  97. Have you ever visited Shakespeare & Company in Paris? It’s got little nooks and corners, old desks set up if you feel like writing, lounging sofas, and even a small bed in one room! New and used books are categorized in random parts of the store with no rhyme or reason so you just have to wander around.

  98. Sounds fantastic! You’ll have to be in disguise in the store though or you’ll never get anything done – we’ll all be pouncing on you to chat!

  99. My favourite bookstore is from You’ve Got Mail. Not the big B&N one but the little shop around the corner. Where you can twirl with Hailey and totally come back as a ghost to do so.

  100. So now I’ll have to go to Texas. I love your idea for the space. And while malls can be a bummer to be in, you can still make the inside the way you want to most of the time. Look at Hot Topic. I can’t wait to see all the pictures! Good luck!

  101. Oh my gosh! This is amazing! I am so excited for you! I don’t live anywhere near San Antonio, but I will be sure to come visit.

  102. This is all kinds of amazing. It will be wonderful!! You will 110% need a bookstore cat. And maybe a Little Free Library located out front for people to leave their used books for those who need/want them? I already loved San Antonio, but now it’s climbed even higher in my esteem!

  103. Yes for books, ferrets, kittens and margaritas! Coffee and nibbles would be important, and art house movies (for sale, but projected even better!).

  104. Hi. I have a BA in Business and Management from a ALVERNO College. I am CEO of a White Turtle Rainbow a Native American Media Company. First you need to start with a business plan which is your map to success.
    Contact me for tips.

    Wenona Gardner
    White Turtle Rainbow
    (414)391-0565

  105. I can only imagine I must be the 15th person to say this. But definitely have a little coffee shop type area. Even if that means pastries and bread, tea and coffee.

  106. I’m dying now, and considering a move to Texas after vowing to never leave MI.
    Coffee/tea/cocoa/soda bar. Snacks. Big chairs, loaner headphones. A place to hang my coat and leave my shoes, so I can switch to the slippers I carry IN MY CAR.

    A “need one take one, have one leave one” system for people that maybe can’t afford to buy a book, and an area for people to exchange books.

    Perhaps a small lending library section?

    Maybe a kids area. Good lighting, a fireplace, windows, but not so much bright sunlight no one can actually see. An outdoor area.

    A rooom to rent upstairs.

  107. OMG Jenny your going to live my dream! I am so happy for you! Even though you might think it’s nerve wracking but you will be amazing at it! I have to agree with some suggestions that you should think about having a used book section, book lovers and voracious readers will love and appreciate this!

  108. Shelves of Staff Favorites are my favorite part of any bookshop. A place that is not just wheelchair accessible, but wheelchair friendly is pretty much a unicorn.

  109. Living the dream! Good for you!! I like your haunted house idea but otters need water so that might be a problem. As for what I like in bookstores, big overstuffed comfy chairs are wonderful. It gives you a chance to read the first chapter of a book so you can decide whether you really like it or not. And the chairs should be located randomly through the store, not grouped, because it’s always uncomfortable when there is someone sitting directly across from you. Do you say hello or nod or ignore them? I’m never sure what the protocol is. And how about a ferret habitat? Cats roaming through the store is fine, dogs too, but the people I’ve known who have ferrets talk about bites and scratches and Band-Aids a lot. So think liability.

    Hooray!! I’m so excited!! I go down to Austin frequently and it’s not that far from San Antonio so I might get to meet you in person! I don’t know if I’m excited or terrified but either way when you get your store open I’ll be there!

  110. Oh my gosh. Yes, please. I personally prefer older, funkier space, but new is fine. I like to have some comfy places to sit, with coffee for sale nearby. My favorite bookstores of all time have been Book People, Tattered Cover, and old used bookstores that smell like dust. I’m in SA and will buy books from you.

  111. Good for you! This would be worth an 18-hour road trip I think. I haven’t found a perfect bookstore, but in my mind, it would have great lighting for reading, super-comfy chairs and sofas (maybe even ottomans because who doesn’t want to put their foot up while they read?) Desks and hard chairs for those who want to write. Maybe uneven (not uniform I mean, not slanted!) bookshelves to add to the whimsy. A book ladder would be fun! A Bookstore Cat is a must-have (maybe even kittens from the local rescue that patrons can pet while they are there and potentially adopt?) Depending on size, themed seating areas (relaxing colors in one corner, vibrant/creative in another corner, etc.). Yeah, I’m rambling. I am so excited for you, I hope you have fun with it!!

  112. It will have space for authors to come and talk, and for readers to hide away in cubbies, and for groups to meet for book clubs and writing workshops.

    This is my thing, this right here. Book clubs!

  113. OMG I loooooooove this idea!!! This is brilliant and I can’t wait for you to do this! I will fly to San Antonio as soon as this bookshop opens and I can afford the flight! I love bookshops with lots of nooks and crannies to hide in and just be among books. In any city I travel too I first seek out a nice bookshop – also always helps when I’m feeling anxious. My two favourite bookshops are Mr B’s Emporium in Bath (https://mrbsemporium.com – they also have a reading spa and awesome book recommendations) and this little bookshop in Killarney, Ireland that I fell in love with (https://www.goldenpages.ie/pages-bookstore-killarney/) – it’s called pages.

    I also love bookshops that have a teashop. Any excuse to buy a book and stay to read – comfy armchairs included. And postcards from local artists. Always love those.

    Your bookstore will be magic. it will make the world a better place. It seems such a wonderful fit that you’re doing it. This news made me so happy!!!!

  114. Ornate columns on the bookshelves à la Beauty and the Beast. You NEED at least one of those reach-the-topshelf stairs with wheels. Pretty rugs to sit on while just browising a book. Oooh, reading glasses people can borrow for us stubborn types who insist it’s really nothing. And totally the mall, so we can run away and hide in the big bathrooms for a bit.
    OMG it’s gonna be AWESOME indeed!!!!

  115. My favorite bookstores (Powells and The Last Bookstore) both have sci-fi/fantasy sections where you can just wander around and get lost in. They have ceiling high shelves that are packed with both new and used books and there is nothing better than walking in and wondering what new favorite author or series I’m going to stumble on this time.

  116. our local shop has a small play area for little kids so parents can sit and relax for a minute while their kids play. They had a small Thomas the Train set and some other toys.

  117. What a wonderful idea! And tell Victor to be quiet. I would LOVE a book shop that was full of cats and other cute furry animals!! How awesome would that be to curl up on a comfy chair with a hot chocolate (or margarita) and pet a kitty while reading a good book!? Good luck Jenny!

  118. Oooooh, I think your shop belongs somewhere like King William (you have been to their annual quirky parade and arts fair during Fiesta, yes?), La Villita, or the SoFlo or Blue Star Arts Districts.

    Skip all the outlying Suburban Shopping Centers From Hell. They have no character. Zero.

  119. I will get on a plane and FLY TO YOUR BOOKSTORE if it’s infested with otters. I’m just saying. Give the people what they want. (I’m so excited for you, Miss Jenny!)

  120. YES!!! Obviously cats, cookies, tea, lots of cozy nooks. A fairy garden for kids to play in while parents drink tea and buy books. Lots of shelves full of recommendations like, “If you liked this book, you’ll love these…” so people can discover new stuff. A “blind dating” section where the book is wrapped in brown paper and you choose it just based on a small blurb without knowing the author or title. Taxidermied rodents dressed as notable literary characters.

  121. Never have I ever uttered these words before: I need to move to the United States. Specifically Texas. I am beside myself with happiness that there will be another bookstore in the world. The fact that you’re going to own it, just makes it that much more amazing. Once it’s super successful, will you please open a second one up here in Canada? Pretty please?

  122. Can you also have a used books section along with the new? I know those probably won’t make you enough money, but there are so many weird and wonderful books out there and maybe having a used section would encourage them to find their way to you?

  123. I AM SO JEALOUS.

    What makes a bookstore great for me?
    * Friendly, welcoming staff. The kind of people who get to know you because you’re in there all the time and say hi with a smile when you walk in.
    * Personal service. A store that’s happy to place special orders, keep things on hold, call you when they come in, etc. This beats Amazon.
    * Staff who know books, love books, and love talking about books. I want staff who I can say “I loved Josh Bazell’s Beat the Reaper but that guy like never publishes, what else have you got?” and they’ll say “Oh, have you tried Duane Swierczynski’s books?” and they’ll be totally right. I mean, if you don’t know books and love books and love doing that for the customers, seriously why are you even working in a bookstore?
    * Well curated selection. Especially in the middle-grade and YA area.
    * Opinionatedly inclusive. I want a bookstore that isn’t afraid to have a Trans Day of Visibility display and stock it with George and Whipping Girl and so forth.
    * Personality. Knowing you, I am 100% sure this will not be an issue.
    * Community engagement. I want a bookstore that does author events, readings, signings, book clubs, storytimes for kids, etc.

    My personal favorite bookstore that does all this is Brick&Mortar books, in Redmond, Wa. (@BrickMrtrBooks). They are super friendly and I’m sure would be happy to give you good insider advice if you were to call them up. Ask for Tina.

  124. I will visit regularly. Well, as regularly as I can from 7 hours away! I definitely vote for haunted Victorian. My favorite bookstore is the Thrifty Peanut. It’s an amazing locally owned gem!

  125. Little corners to read in so I dont have to talk to the people around me when I’m talking to my self and cats would be nice.

  126. I love this idea!! I want to hop in the car and drive down now.

    Also, my favorite bookstores are ones that have had cats and ones that have a certain charm to the building or decor. They’re usually crammed full of books new or used and have really comfy chairs.

  127. One of my favourite local bookstores here in Toronto always has cool magazines from small publishing houses that are really hard to find anywhere else. I love that. They also have a small section of random stuff at the front, which is great because I always go into the store when I’m looking for a gift for someone, and always inevitably leave with at least one book for myself, whether I find the present for someone else or not. Upon reflection, bookstores are actually a pretty dangerous place for me (or rather, my wallet). So I will definitely be visiting yours if I’m ever in San Antonio!

  128. What a great idea! Powell’s Books (Portland) has a great subscription club service which once a month features a book from an independent publisher along with some added & related swag called Indiespensable (check it out: https://www.powells.com/indiespensable ) – consider adopting something similar. I’d sign up! Whatever the featured book is could also be the bookclub discussion book (for those who can meet in person and maybe those of us who can only meet virtually). Good luck and best wishes on the endeavor!

  129. 👏👏👏happy dance! I love old, vintage book finds. Maybe have a selection of those. I can hook you up with a source (me, the book hunter, lol 🦁 if you need). I’ve found some serious circa 1800’s that are awesome cool! And the old cookbooks – just in case you need to know how to roast a terrapin while stranded somewhere is always useful. So happy for you. Dream big!

  130. Beyoncé needs to live there for fan photo ops! Congratulations! (Also, San Antonio just became the number one destination on my travel list!)

  131. Village Books in Bellingham, Washington is a great independently owned bookstore/community of crazy people of all kinds…. and even has a resident cat. No otters. But a cat. And lots of cozy comfy books to read in. A great small community area for authors and writing groups. Great coffee. Check it out! And I’m definitely in for a trip to Texas as soon as it is open! Love this idea!

  132. My favorite bookstores have all had unexpected card racks sprinkled throughout. I spent hours reading Edward Monkton cards at Blackwell’s in Oxford when I just needed to laugh with a friend. Also- big fan of comfy chairs.

  133. YOU ARE LIVING MY DREAM and I could not possibly be more excited about this whole idea. <3
    Shop cats are YES.
    Writing nooks? YES
    Giant chairs. YES.
    Online clubs & visitations: HELLZ YES.
    Cozy, tiny areas to read & chat? YES.
    Hauntings? DEFINITELY YES.
    Snax/coffee/margaritas? ALL THE YES.
    Bright, light areas? YES.
    Dim dusty hideaway corners? YES
    If there is an attic in your space, you must make it part of the shop.
    PS: I hate giving away my books but for you I will happily donate my duplicates.

  134. The kids section needs to be fun and interactive and not one of those places where I am afraid to let my kids touch stuff. Also story time for kids! With beanbag chairs and places for them to snuggle and read!

  135. YES. Haunted Victorian with small bar. Sounds like my SignIn name on OldPeople.com.

  136. You realize I’m basically going to live in your store and hand over my paycheck every week right?

    Can every Friday be zombie night?

    Also tell Victor that my favorite bookstore in Galveston had a big fat fluffy cat that just laid on the front desk all day. You need a big fat fluffy cat.

  137. Yes! I’m so in for the otters!! I’ve also always thought owning a bookstore would be a fabulous job. Good luck! I’m so excited to come visit it in whatever form it takes. 🙂

  138. Well. You AT LEAST need a live-in cat (live preferred). Comfy chairs. Used book section that smells a little musty but not too much. Book recommendation blurbs by random non-celebrity folks like me.

  139. OMG, this is my dream too. And I’ll never do it, so you can have all my ideas (there are only 2). One: It should definitely be in an old house. And the categories should be sorted by room: cookbooks and food books in the kitchen, romance in the bedroom, humor in the bathrooms, mysteries in the secret passage (if it doesn’t have a secret passage you can convert a bedroom). And two: The most ridiculous, over the top, in house press imaginable, were you set all the type by hand and sometimes put the letters in backwards, and only make like three copies a month.

    Oh, and at least one of the bookstore cats should be missing an eye, and another should have extra toes.

  140. Definitely haunted Victorian with big overstuffed comfy chairs and lots of cats.

  141. It must have lots of big squishy chairs and couches for one to sit on and while perusing books! And nerf guns to shoot at people who are too loud 🙂

  142. I am so excited for this- like this gives me a reason to get to San Antonio excited! I think it’s be amazing if you could work a writing area into your store and maybe have some writers workshops. I also wish I could just transport a coffee shop in my town next to wherever your store is, I know that isn’t super helpful or practical!

  143. OMG… this is my dream too! And otters! A Victorian mansion??! YESSSSS!

    Ok, I will seriously come to the grand opening (I’ll come from Chicago!). My favorite things about book stores… USED books. Lots of them. Places to sit. Comic books. A friendly ghost, for sure!!! (The bookstore I worked at did have a ghost). Coffee… baked goods. Music, but not too loud. Readings and book clubs and author meet and greets. And a big kids’ section. My whole family loves bookstores. We go to our favorite one almost every week. 🙂

    I love this! So excited for you!

  144. I love that you are doing this. You need to convince Victor that the bookstore needs a cat. All bookstores need a cat (as do all coffee shops, train stations, antique stores, well really anywhere, but I have seen them in all these places and they are always loved and an important part of the experience). I love bookstores with coffee shops or even (small) bars, but I would suggest getting a space that allows for it, but adding it later. Opening two businesses at once, one of which requires health inspections and such might be a little overwhelming.

  145. I love this idea. I have worked at many bookstores over the years and still dream of opening one myself one day. I can live vicariously through you and come visit because this will be EPIC and AWESOME. You’re amazing.

  146. NO NO NO NO NO to strip malls and new spaces. Ugh. No character and too sterile. The walls need to be able to tell stories. Recently hung drywall is soulless.

  147. Cat. You definitely need a bookstore cat! (Although it should likely be a sphinx to avoid causing allergy symptoms in some people!)

  148. Honestly, the Tiffany lamps at the one in Victoria is so amazing. It really gives the book store feel, somehow. Fake tiffqy lamps work too!

  149. Will you have an upstairs room for people who want to spend the night in a haunted bookstore? Will you adopt me?

    (Totally. ~ Jenny)

  150. This sounds awesome! I would like an area with some large tables where I can spread out stuff if I need to see it all at once.

  151. Stay away from new strip malls. Lean towards haunted mansions or at least a large location with a big enough parking lot that you could actually have book fairs with live authors or fantasy mermaid events (to use the otters) –any way vending events in the parking lot a couple time a
    year full of vendors that are artistic and a little weird (like us) Dont let Victor real you in too much. It’s also going to need a giant metal chicken out front (not yours a new one) so make sure the ladlord doesnt have alot of weird rules like no metal chickens or no dead things.

  152. Please, please just have some chairs, and no books on the very bottom shelf where they never get seen. I’m too tall and too old for that shit. (And YAY and congratulations!!!! Bookstores are awesome, you are awesome)

  153. Please have lots and lots of places to sit, and not all close to each other! I wish you all the best!

  154. I am so thrilled and excited for you! I’m so glad you’ll have live events since I don’t live in Texas! Just make the bookstore cozy and inviting. Comfy seating in little nooks is essential. Offer a wide variety of books to appeal to everyone. THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!

  155. I wish you the best of luck in your new journey. Just remember one thing god is watching over you & your family. So, I say give it a shot !! You will never know until you try it if it’s going to workout for you.

    Love you lots Patricia

  156. oh my GOSH this is very exciting. I’m basically local (Austin) so I can’t wait to visit.

    I know you’ll make it wonderful and that these suggestions are evident but my favorite bookstores all have a few comfy chairs to sit and test out a book in a corner somewhere, and good natural light, and fun creaky floors (might be hard to arrange for those, so that’s ok). please make people use the mic at events (if mics are a thing in your space) so everyone can hear. ummm what else, I love staff written recommendations like bookpeople has.

    this is sometimes a dream of mine too, and I get lost in thinking about all the ways I would design the space and bake pastries to serve…. actually, happy to bake pastries for your shop if you don’t mind that I make up for my lack of professional baking experience with enthusiasm and a formidable sweet tooth.

  157. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!! Cats & haunted & gotic & taxidermy & drinks & coffee & books …
    I’m moving in. Whats the address?

  158. My favorite bookstore was a used bookstore, so have used books, too?
    Anyway it was in an old house, so, many rooms, closets, nooks and crannies filled with books on 2×4 bookshelves.
    Crammed, to the rafters. I loved hanging out there.

  159. Please please have a book themed knick knack area: book bags, mugs, book marks, signs, bracelets whatever. I can NEVER find enough of that stuff and I like to give it as gifts WITH books!

  160. I live near San Antonio and I am SO EXCITED to read this! I don’t know about spaces because I’m pretty far from the area where you live but I do know bookstores! I mainly love knowledgeable employees with personal recommendations or who can say, “If you like that author, you should try these!” And comfy chairs.

    I have to admit that I’m with Victor on the ferrets. I will take snuggles from any cat, but ferrets are snakes hiding in furry costumes. I don’t trust them.

  161. YAYYYYYY!!! This sounds amazing. Especially emotional support otters & margaritas.

    I do love an older, somewhat discombobulated bookstore full of twists and turns and odd rooms and quiet nooks with a beat up leather chair for reading. Harvard Coop and Powell’s are great examples of bookstores that while VERY large manage to be cozy and inviting at the same time. Kramer Books in Dupont Circle, DC is one of my faves for their cozy bar, cafe space, events and hang-out-ability. But any old curmudgeonly space where I need to occasionally duck my head and step over people’s legs as they read while I inhale the glorious scent of old leather and musty parchment? HEAVEN.

    Congrats on realizing a dream. I know you will rock it.

  162. This is so exciting! I imagine wooden floors that creak, two stories high. Also spinnie stands for your doll houses in October! Very excited for you!

  163. I have ALWAYS wanted a bookstore. I love to do fancy cakes, so if I had a bookstore, it would also have cakes.

  164. You had me a margarita bar. I’ll visit every time I visit San Antonio to visit my sister-in-law! She’ll tolerate me if margaritas are promised. My dream bookstore has plenty of lounge areas to kick back and relax while deciding on which books need me to adopt them.

  165. A beautiful idea that will be appreciated by many. Maybe your book mobile could randomly drive around and pick up writers, and do an audible in cars version of Karaoke in cars. 🙂

    (That is totally the plan! ~Jenny)

  166. Hurray!!
    This is the best idea! You will have the best ever bookstore. So happy for you. My favorite local bookstore is tps//moonpalacebooks.com.
    I am a music lover as well as a book fanatic and they host live music, poetry readings etc. They have a cafe with beer and pizza and outdoor seating in the summer. They are very involved in our community and host afarmers market in the summer.
    Check them out!

  167. Hmmm this sounds fun! One of the things I have always wished for in a book store is a view of titles that I do not have ot cock my head to one side to read the title. shelving them in a way that a title is easily read would be awesome. Wish you were opening the bookstore in Portland Oregon.

  168. This is thrilling news! There is no one better to run a bookstore than someone who loves books. One of my favorite little independent book nooks has paintings by local authors lining the walls. Can you please have coffee? And room for visitors from NC who will crash San Antonio not only for its River Walk but MOSTLY for the sure-to-be quirky and certain-to-be cozy bookstore!

  169. I love this. One of my favorite bookstore was a tiny one in northern Minnesota. It was well curated and so cozy. Not big and modern. Small. With staff that truly loved books. There were cozy spots to curl up and relax.
    I really like old haunted Victorian. I’d go. Hell, I’d live there (as long as the tea selection was top notch)

  170. Shelves that are arranged kind of like a maze so when your allotted browsing time is up, you can run away and hide from the spouse who wants to go.
    Yea!

  171. A) this will be awesome! Congrats!
    B) Victor is wrong about the animals. A bookstore should at minimum have a cat.
    As far as what I like in a bookstore: I love bookstores that sell used books and offer some sort of trade-in program. Even if you don’t go for used books, maybe allow people to donate books for your phase 2 bookmobile plan.
    Other nice things: comfy chairs in quiet nooks; a staff of booknerds who “get” that I just want to browse & will ask for help when I need it but also can provide amazing recommendations; and WiFi.

  172. This is awesome! I love this idea! Yass! 😀

    I like to think that books take you places, so the idea of having travel posters of different literary lands always appealed to me greatly. There are some incredible artists that have already done some up. (I was working on a concept of opening a book bar with a similar theme, please take this and run with it if you so choose! 🙂 )

    We had ONE bookstore growing up. It was called the Phoenix Bookstore, and it was so awesome. It was teeny tiny, which fit our town. Eventually it closed because the owners got tired of the up-keep. The irony is that it has yet to rise from the ashes. (But you never know!)

    Anywho. I love it. I’m there. I’m cheering you on! It’s gonna be so awesome. 🙂

    (Love the poster idea! ~ Jenny)

  173. I live in the Atlanta area, but I WILL be visiting as soon as you open.I may also need to move, quit being a lawyer, and apply for a job with you. Comfy chairs are a must. Anxiety craft products would be great. Bulletin boards for meetups for shy/introverted/antisocial types.

  174. Meghan K beat me to it, but if you’re considering animals in the book shop, it’s definitely worth a look at The Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis. Here’s the page on their animal residents (including rats, a tarantula, and a chicken): https://www.wildrumpusbooks.com/meet-animals

    Your store sounds lovely, and I can’t wait to visit!

  175. Comfortable chairs. Warm tea. Creaky floors. A solid genre section with lots of SF and F and mysteries and not just dozens of copies of the big names you can find anywhere. More books than anything else (though pens are okay, and paper).

    I would love to someday come do a signing at your bookstore 🙂

  176. DEFINITELY it needs to be a haunted Victorian.

    Maybe with a spare room that can temporarily house the psycho woman who is palanning to put her pets in the car and drive to San Antonio to live there now? (I’m kidding. Maybe.)

  177. This is miraculous!! I lovelovelove this! My opinion: old Victorian house, lots of nooks and crannies, tiny spaces with low key lamps, dusty old books, lots of comfy arm chairs and little tables for your tea …

    I so wish I could be there, but I will definitely go online and pretend I’m there.

    Love you, Jenny.

    xox

  178. I’ve lived in Texas 10 years and never been to San Antonio, but when your bookstore opens, I’ll come even if I have to walk!

  179. Never have I wanted more to NOT live in Canada and live in Texas where more of the nature tries to kill you!
    Also Librarian here and it is a dream of mine to open a bookstore/cafe with my spouse, he bakes, I’ll do a little book club corner with of course CATS! My alternative dream when I was single was to open a Library with cats and a wine bar, instant success right!?

    Personally I love spaces that showcase the community, having a local art corridor, partnering with local businesses for workshops, cool chairs are always a big draw. hanging chairs, chairs you can just be enveloped in, mismatched chairs, plants.

    I hope you have so much fun with this Jenny!

  180. Hi Jenny, my name is Tina Landry and I live in a small town in New Brunswick Canada. I was diagnosed with PTSD and fibromyalgia a couple of years ago and was told by my psychologist to read your books. I truly want to thank you for your humor and real life stories, they made me feel human again.
    I’m sure you will be a big success in your new adventure and I cant wait to read all about it.
    Good luck!!!
    Tina

  181. I love bookstores, especially small ones. Used bookstores are even better because the prices are more manageable, as long as the stock is organized well. I have to agree with Victor, though, on the animals. Any animals. I’m allergic to cats (and litter boxes in a bookstore are very unappealing to smell; there’s a shop in NC that’s a rescue and bookstore and ughhhhhh) and not particularly fond of animals in general. I’m the oddball among most of my #BloggessTribe because I have no interest at all in ferrets, llamas, alpacas, narwhals…etc. Though how you’d keep a narwhal in a bookstore would be a whole other story.

  182. As a shopper I’d much prefer “a haunted Victorian with a friendly ghost and giant chairs” to a space in a strip mall. Whichever you decide, it sounds marvelous. Sadly, I don’t live in San Antonio. (Although if you make it too welcoming no one will ever leave.)

  183. YAAAAY!! This is fantastic!
    I didn’t know you were in San Antonio!!! I thought you lived in Waco or something like that. I’M IN SAN ANTONIO! I’m going to live in your book shop. Even if it has ferrets. Also, I’m working on a book, which at the rate I’m writing will be finished in about 20 years. The minute I read that you were opening a store, I thought, “This is where I want to host my book launch… in 2040.” 🙂

  184. So exciting! There should also be a sign that welcome people to come in and knit. And you’ll have a craft book section.

  185. I have spent the day having a panic attack about the fact that we have a few months to be able to afford a house that meets our needs including the one where it’s accessible in relation to my disability and kiddo’s, or at least afford a house that we can also afford to make accessible so it will meet our needs, and it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen without a miracle, and without a miracle we are probably homeless, and that’s a real problem for a husband that already works 80 hours weeks trying to meet our basic needs and a physically disabled mom and their neuro-disabled kid and holy fuck how am I going to make this work I make things work for everyone else but I don’t know how to make this work for us and what do I do I don’t even have the spoonage to get my kid through his damn homework tonight because he has two written assignments and I have to be his scribe because they won’t fucking accommodate him and accept verbal versions of his work and that’s the least of our problems right now and…

    And to be perfectly honest, reading this post made me stop, breathe, and smile, and although it solves none of my problems, it makes me feel better about life, because YOUR BOOKSTORE WILL BE OUT THERE.

  186. This is amazing news! I’m so excited for you, Jenny! I think a bookstore with adoptable cats/ferrets/otters and big comfy chairs would be phenomenal and I would visit frequently! Best of luck on this new endeavor! Can’t wait to visit someday! ❤️

  187. well i guess i have to take a trip to san antonio now 😉

    things i would love in a bookstore run by jenny: weird taxidermy on the walls; rotating artist exhibition space on the walls (er, meaning that the artists and displays change periodically, not that the walls… rotate. probably.); cozy chairs; staff-curated book recommendation shelves (the bodega cats in the store count as staff). book launches by authors, local or not.

    things i would love in an eventual bookstore run by jenny once the initial thing takes off: a coffee counter with pastries and coffee, and an honor system mug where people could buy a token to donate a coffee (or pastry or whatever) to someone who needed it but didn’t have the scratch. a second location (or more!) so that my east coast butt can partake of some of these wonders.

    things i hope that jenny’s bookstore will have: hand sanitizer and possibly little surgical masks so that people like me who love cats (LOVE them) but are allergic can still come in and browse and buy.

  188. Ok now I’ll have to go to San Antonio again. I think a separate animal room would be awesome, that way those allergic can still go. Comfy chairs are definitely a must and a secret door, I’ve always wanted to go through a hidden/secret door.

  189. I’ve lived in Texas for 10 years and have never been to San Antonio, but when you open your bookstore, I’ll come even if I have to walk there!

  190. Tons of comfy squishy chairs, zero overhead lighting (preferably just a million lamps), blankets and pillows, and of course snacks and refreshments. Fireplaces? Maze-like corridors between tottering bookshelves? Maybe even two stories, one with all the books and music and one with bar/reading spots. ALL the geeky references… a TARDIS hiding in the back, little sections devoted to Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc. Basically make it as close to your dollhouse as you can LOL <3

  191. You had me at “margarita bar”
    Go Jenny!!
    I love the huge Victorian idea, with chaise lounges & settee sofas!
    I love bookstores & it’s the owner that gives it the vibe…yours will be particularly cool!
    Ps…think wine tasting
    Or wine & author pairings…oooh

  192. Have you ever seen the series “You” I imagine bookstores like that, but with less murder in them of course.

  193. Hell to the yeah!!!! I’ll take a ghost with a side of shop cat with a good book while sipping my margarita in a spill proof cup please!!!! What direction am I driving? Can’t wait!

  194. Please, please, please consider putting your bookstore on the south side of San Antonio. We are thirsting for a neighborhood bookstore. I am retiring this month (after 33 years at the same job) and will gladly volunteer at your store.

  195. A used book section, where those favorites that are now out of print may find new readers! (Beginner’s Luck by Laura Pedersen, anyone?)
    You’ve given me a new reason to want to go to San Antonio!

  196. Two of my favourite bookstores are Shakespeare and Company in Paris and the Bookshelf in Guelph, Ontario. They are very different from one another but share a warm welcoming feeling and really knowledgeable staff that don’t hang over you but can answer all of your questions and make recommendations. Shakespeare and Company is full of the most awesome books and has many nooks and crannies for reading and has a cat. The vibe is so fantastic. The Bookshelf, in Guelph, hosts a writers space every Monday morning and provides coffee and is one of the sponsors of the Eden Mills Writers Festival which you should totally come to. It is set in a people backyards in the little village of Eden Mills – Margaret Atwood, Al Purdy and Michael Ondaatje have all come and you should too.

  197. I love having someplace where I can look up books without talking to a human (on the days when I really, really don’t want extra interactions). I also am deeply in love with Powells – it’s HUGE, weird, has every single book under the sun alongside used versions, hand-printed signs with staff recommendations (and why the book is cool), taller than a person shelves (so you can feel all by yourself when browsing), and really cool literary-type stuff to buy (like my favorite sexy reading lady car decal). Your bookstore is going to rock, I’m certain :-).

  198. You won’t regret trying this! Come to Nashville and check out author Ann Pachett’s Parnassus Bookstore that she opened a few years ago. It’s doing well!

  199. Omg! I live in Austin and my daughter fors to UTSA… I am SO THERE!! I love bookstores with comfy chairs to curl up in and skim through books I am thinking of buying. Maybe hosting a book club monthly or something ( I know you have anxiety but perhaps the manager or Victor or someone else could run it…You provide the space and others the voice. Maybe someone could set up a coffee cart out front. So many possibilities! I’m excited for you!

  200. Congratulations! What an exciting adventure! If you want ferrets you should invite my writing group from Oklahoma sometime. 😉 We’re the Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society (long story).

  201. I once worked at a start up bookstore in Vancouver, BC called Bollum’s Books. It was the largest independent bookstore in Western Canada back in the time (mid 1990s). Make sure you have a coffee/tea bar of some kind where people can grab a drink, and some type of food, even if it’s just pastries. Decorate the area with lots of old fashion tea cups and glasses, everything rustic and mis-matched. Make sure there’s a tub somewhere for the otters too…they do like the water! If you could really have kittens and puppies that are up for adoption, that would be fantastic. And ferrets and rats and other small animals – maybe even baby goats.

    I think this is a wonderful idea Jenny and I can’t wait to see it all come together. I think you should call the store Furiously Happy because that’s what it will make everyone when they walk through the doors.

  202. Opening a book store has been my lifelong dream. Definitely need comfy armchairs, tea/coffee, and cool funky lighting. Since it’s you, I think you should designate genre sections with various taxidermied animals.

  203. My favorite ever local bookstore was called Tomes. It was tiny and it smelled good. Not perfumey, more like cedar. In the back room/office/break room was a friendly golden retriever, kept in by a baby gate in the door. It was SOP to go straight back through the store and pet the dog before doing any shopping. The two women owners were friendly and knowledgeable. I miss it.
    Right now my local fave is Amber Unicorn which is a used bookstore. The owner is famous for her knowledge of cookbooks.

  204. I honestly love this idea and wish I could do it, too. Cats: you need shop cats. Ones that cuddle, ones that supervise, and ones that entertain. Comfy chairs that are not TOO comfy, as in you sink into them and someone has to pull you out. Recliners, maybe. Docking stations for cell phones or tablets. Cookies and coffee and teas. Book clubs. Reading nights/aftwrnoons for children. Wine and book nights. Drag Queen reading nights – you have drag queens come in and read to the audience!

  205. This is amazing. I always think of big leather chairs to curl up in and read, and the smell of wood, and a glass chandelier type light that throws random beams around. Dark cosy, comforting colours. Sorry, rambling, think I need to open bookstore 😂 seriously though, if you’re involved, I know this is going to be the best, and if they ever let me back into the States I’m totally coming to visit! Xx

  206. My favorite bookstores have easy chairs (but not matching- that’s too corporate) in the adult section and places to sit or lay on the floor in the little kids’ books. Natural light is a huge plus. So is being staffed by people who READ, so we can talk about books and if I have a reading list similar to theirs, they can recommend books to me. Actually, now that I think about it, staff is the first on the list. Also a plus, greenery outside. Greenery outside the door always seems so friendly. And I believe – especially in bookstores – to allow kids their own book policing. If it doesn’t appeal, they’ll put it down. If they feel it’s too old, they’ll put it down. Let the kids read what they want to read!

  207. Make it like the bookstore in the movie “You’ve Got Mail” I love that bookstore. So proud of you my friend and wish you nothing but success and lots of ferrets, sloths and rescue cats. 😊❤️❤️❤️

  208. For me, avoiding becoming more of a gift boutique than an actual place to buy books is key. I have a stack of unused gift cards to the local independent because when you go in it’s a just a sea of novelty socks and candles. Most of the few books available are limited to narrow cases tucked under the eaves and the little floor space accorded to books is spent on splashy coffee table books. I spend a lot of money on books, yet I never go there because nothing is in stock and there is nothing to happily discover either.

  209. I will come to San Antonio JUST for the sake of visiting. Please don’t forget to have a section for rotating artists of horrible (or oddly wonderful) taxidermy, paintings, all sorts of shit.

  210. I will totally come to texas just to visit your bookstore. This is the best thing I have heard all year. Go Jenny!

  211. This is so exciting I can barely stand it. The only thing that would be better would be if it were in Milwaukee where I could go to it and buy things directly. Will you have an online resource so we could order things from your store if we aren’t local?

    What do I like in a bookstore…. Obviously cozy place to start reading right away. Our favorite independent bookstore here (Boswell’s) has free gift wrapping which is nice especially at the holidays. They also have a program of donating to local causes with part of your purchase which I always appreciate. Personally, the thing I think is the best about local bookstores is the employee recommendations. It’s nice when there is a shelf of things with cards explaining why a certain employee likes a particular book.

    I’m sure you will come up with things more marvelous than I could ever conceive. Just amazing and wonderful and I’m sure it will be a big success. (And I have a novel coming out at the end of the month if you feel you need one more item for your shelves!)

  212. I am SO EXCITED!!! I live nowhere near San Antonio and have never even been to Texas, but this will be my reason. I’m so happy for you and can’t wait to see what you create!!! I’m hugely in favor of reading and writing spaces throughout, and a big communal-sized table or two for working near other people and maybe-but-not-necessarily talking to them. My favorite bookstore near me (Rough Draft in Kingston, NY) has some cool tables, a bar, and an espresso bar. Oh and a pop-up bread bakery on weekends!

  213. Yes!
    If you’re having food and drinks I’d try to have a library section so customers can sit and read without grubbying up your books for sale, but also do not have to buy a book to use the cafe/bar/whatever. Maybe you can sell those at a discount so you can turn them over frequently.

    But I live this whole idea and concept. I would also love a proper virtual bookclub chat room that could run alongside a live bookclub so I could participate remotely and those at the bookclub could still see and respond to comments.

  214. Well, you’ll need table tops and charging stations if you want to host writers, especially during NanoWriMo. Writers are nice things to have around a bookstore, and they shed less than cats. It would also be nice to provide introverted people with some opportunities to community build with parallel play activities — you know, things they can do together but not TOO together, like a knit night or a board game night once a month, or a jigsaw puzzle corner. It’s been my experience that board game people and knitters are two of the best kinds of humans (True story: I once worked really really hard to get up the nerve to get out of the house for knit night at a coffeeshop, only to find out it wasn’t knit night, it was board game night, and the board game people were so NICE that I didn’t cry and I stayed, and now sometimes I go back to board game night and sit on the couch and knit while they play board games and they’re perfectly understanding and wonderful), and they also tend to be readers (and buyers) of good books. A good independent bookstore can be Home Planet for the people who have to work really really really hard to fit in elsewhere. .

  215. I am local and I am stoked. Please squirrel your store with the other book shops on Avenue B by Brackenridge. Or in Monte Vista in the vicinity of Cookhouse, Nola, etc. Also, I am a librarian, and I write about books so can I please write about you opening a bookstore for a huge publication? Not afraid to ask. Check out my portfolio and let’s do an interview.

  216. The Book Cellar new/used bookstore is closing down in Louisville CO. Can you make a call to the store and talk to the owner Barbara? In case you can capitalize on any of her inventory? At the very least you should learn something about her business model. Basically, you can trade your books in for some store credit, and the store credit can only be used toward used books. She ansi carries new books and will order anything for you. Get the formulas and software she uses from her. She’s retiring, but the business has been around for a long time.

  217. I love this idea so much!! Especially the bookstore cats! A dog would be good, too! I wish I lived closer!!!!

    My all time favorite bookstore is Scuppernong Books in Greensboro NC https://www.scuppernongbooks.com. They have amazing community events like Drag Queen Story Hour and a cute little coffee bar that also serves yummy housemade sandwiches and snack-y type foods made with local ingredients. They also serve wine and beer. You don’t need to make a purchase to hang out there for work or fun, and everyone is so very friendly.

    Sadly, they don’t have a bookstore cat or dog, but I still love it!

  218. Jenny, you’re amazing! I know it’s so hard to put yourself out there and I feel so proud of you, even though I’m an internet stranger 😳😊

    I’m an abstract artist. I’ve always struggled with putting words into exactly WHY I paint, until I read Furiously Happy and I learned what it means.

    I have Depression and Anxiety, but I’m not going to create paintings about them (they don’t deserve it). Instead I create painting about the beautiful moments in life that tell Depression and Anxiety to STFU.

    If you’d like some beautiful and colour full artwork for your new shop (paintings, mural?), please think of this internet stranger to whom you’ve given words to describe her artistic journey ❤️

    (You are the best! ~ Jenny)

  219. There is a local bookstore near me in Pennsylvania called Cupboard Maker Books https://cupboardmaker.com/
    They have “store cats” and they house cats who are needing adoptions for people to come to meet and adopt. It’s awesome! They also have the outside of the store painted like the binding of books. Definitely an inspirational store you can check out. They have a Facebook page too https://www.facebook.com/CupboardMakerBooks/

  220. Since chances are I won’t get to go there, I would love to have a way to order autographed books online, and I love the idea of a way to watch author events, whether it is a livestream or a YouTube channel or something. As for a physical store, comfy chairs, possibly a used books section if it is not all used books. And chest strapped ferrets would totally improve things!

  221. Love this! And I’m so glad you didn’t post it yesterday as I’d have been horribly crushed if it were an Aprill fool’s joke. Bookstore cat is fantastic! My local bookstore doesn’t have one but they welcome in leashed animals and have dishes of water outside their shop for the ones just passing by. To go with all the glorious books (metaphysical section with various oracles, tarot decks, etc. is a must for me) I really love the shops that have the small gift type stuff – notecards, candles (there’s lines that are book store themed), quirky socks, pencil sets for beginning artists (or ones who’ve lost theirs), some crystals that can be for meditating or used as sun catchers, a coffee kiosk next door (where cat & ferrets can’t go – because health code), lots of cozy areas to sit and read/write/absorb the vibes, not stereotypical straight rows of bookcases layouts….

  222. Coffee, booze can get …problematic. A coffee kiosk would be awesome. I can’t wait for the online book club!

  223. WOW! Love the idea, and the margaritas, otters and ferrets. I will have to think about your question – but right away I think THE PEOPLE are what make a great bookstore…so nice to walk in and have friendly people saying hello and not ignoring you. Also, readings, live events, competitions (local short stories and poems, etc.) Your books could be the prizes. Or a gift certificate. I like a podcast called Selected Shorts where people read short stories – maybe you could do something like that? Keep us posted – setting it up and getting it running could be the basis for your next book (after you write the one about your trip to Europe, of course.) No pressure! LOVE IT!

    (Ooh, I love the idea of competitions. Good way to get eyes on new writers. ~ Jenny)

  224. Book signings and readings by authors who would never be able to get their books in, say, Barnes & Noble, but definitely have things to say. I would LOVE to fly down and do one on my own dime to do one.

  225. If you’re going to have children’s books…..

    Keep ONE copy on the floor for kids to destroy. Keep all the rest behind plexiglass that customers can’t get to. When someone wants to buy a book, they get a nice clean pretty one. And your shrink of destroyed books stays down.

    I worked in the kids department at Borders many many years ago. And kids bend pages, and love on books. Which is great. But parents always grabbed the best looking from the shelf, THEN if they wanted to buy it, they’d inevitably leave the book their kid had been loving on (the one that was new & prettty but wasn’t anymore) and grab another from the shelf to take home.

    Soooo many destroyed books we had to deal with.

  226. Yeay! You will be great at this!

    My favorite bookstores are ones that have both new and used books. Also, I love it when there is local art on the walls, and even for sale.

  227. My favorite bookstore here in Minneapolis is Birchbark Books. Owned by another writer you may have heard of Louise Erdrich. Small, intimate space which that gives lots of shelves to Native American and many other writers of non-white origin. Incredible children’s selection. I’d be happy to send you pics of it because it’s really special.
    So exciting!!!

  228. I’m local! Yay!! My first thought was The Pearl, but they already have an Indie book shop and I don’t know the rules on competition, etc. Have you looked in/around Old Town Helotes? Or maybe even Boerne; I don’t live there but there’s always such a chill vibe when we visit. Maybe not Stone Oak, though, the traffic is madness, lol.

    (I do love Boerne and it’s nearby so if we can’t find the perfect place in San Antonio that might work. ~ Jenny)

  229. We have a bookstore here in Minneapolis for kids that is called Wild Rumpus. It has a tiny child sized door inside a big door. They have glass panels in the floor where you can see tarantulas. They have shop cats AND shop chickens. The whole place is magical. I kind of see your shop as a tie between this and Shakespeare and Co. in Paris. Either way, we are completely supportive of this idea up here in Minnesota! Would be happy to roadtrip there in the dead of winter.

  230. This is so exciting. I love my local bookstore here in London. It’s fairly new & such a welcome thing as we’d been without a bookshop for such a long time. Maybe you could chat to them and see what they do @brookspinner

  231. I love this. Things I like in a bookstore — wifi, a quite space to read, work or drink a cup of tea. Small meeting space is a plus, so local book related events can happen (like a book club could meet there). I also think staff need to be well read and knowledgeable. I hate when you ask a question at a book store and the person answering clearly doesn’t read. MUCH LUCK with the grand adventure!

  232. I’ve never been so excited. I believe in you and the things that you make and I can’t wait to come visit one day!

  233. OMG jumping up and down excited for you!!! What you have in mind just sounds like a place I could move into (I promise I won’t). Sadly not anywhere near me physically but perhaps one day when you open it, it shall be a destination for a vacation.

  234. Congratulations! Books and cats are some of my favorite things. With a potential for free roaming cats I would suggest a flooring material that is easily cleaned & that any upholstered furniture have removable/washable covers with maybe a couple back-up covers. Also break-away collars & microchips, just in case.

  235. What a lovely idea! Good luck! I think you should have a coffee bar and sell croissants and scones and lovely things to nibble on because consumables sell well and can help keep the rest of your operaton afloat. Also lots of nice cozy armchairs and good lighting and a section for used books because that is environmentally a great idea!

  236. I’m so very excited for you and this adventure! Best of luck. I know you will do great. My only advice is start small and let it grow naturally. Sometimes people think too big at first. Start small and cozy and always keep true to yourself.
    Best wishes.
    I hope to visit book store one day!

  237. I think that’s a bloody fantastic idea. Someday I am coming to San Antonio on vacation!

  238. A spot for Audio books to be listened to. Dragging my boys who DO NOT have a love of reading was always hard, and they were a constant pain in other people’s asses as I pretended I did not know these wild beasts. However – if they could have listened to books, they may have been containable. Maybe…

  239. I love book stores, especially small independently owned ones. I might recommend something like Powell’s in Portland has going on, where it’s a combo of new and used books. Also, the only thing I like about the big box bookstores is the mostly enclosed children’s section. So I can still hear my kids, but can roam the stacks for adult books that I may someday read but for now just stack by my bed without worrying overly much that my kids will be abducted. Best of luck to you! Wish I was in San Antonio <3

  240. OMG!!!

    I don’t live in San Antonio (or anywhere near, actually. I live near Dallas, which is on the other end of the danged state. Hi.) but I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED FOR YOU, JENNY! OMG OMG OMG!!!

    And if I lived in San Antonio, I would come work for you. Or at least apply. Because I love the smell of books. Customers, not so much, especially when they’re being assholes. But the smell of books and shop cats and possibly ferrets would be TOTALLY worth it. 🙂

    YAAAAAAAAAY!!! You take this idea and KICK ITS ASS!! BECAUSE YASSS! YASS!

  241. This is amazing! I’m so excited for you! This sounds too good to be true. My favorite bookstore sells (gently) used books and some new, they have a system where you bring in your old books and sort them into the shallow tubs they provide (2 a day max), you sign your name and whether you want your old books back or no once they have taken what they want, and whether you want to know what credit you have accrued that day or no (if no the latest they have entered credit for me is the next day) and credit can be applied to your purchases.

    The one thing that sucks at this place is the noise level– there is a high-pitched sound in the middle of the store and a whining fan somewhere else that means I can only be in there for about half an hour at a time.

    So excited for you, you can do eet!

  242. My local library put that video of a fire in a fireplace up on a TV Screen and had 2 comfy chairs and a coffee table in front of it. Now, I realize that won’t fly in TEXAS in the summer but it was so cozy this winter. I like a bookstore with a coffee bar but if you want to have a BAR bar, that could be better! Except I’ll only buy one drink coz I live an hour away from SA. Another thing I personally like are carrels, where I can hunker down with my computer, shut out the world and work.

  243. Oh Hellz Yeah! My suggestions amount to the fulfilling of my own needs, one of which is to open it in Minnesota (my home state), which I know is probably not possible. But at least have Great Coffee, tea, and sweets there! I’m struggling in my own life right now having been asked to write someone’s memoirs. I’ve never written anything that got published before… unless you count that literary magazine in my first college… which I don’t. Anyway this is a woman who knows nearly nothing about writing/reading including the fact that you can’t plagiarize another whole book into your memoirs just because you learned something from it. {{sigh}}
    I love the book store idea… Go For It!!! <3 <3 <3

  244. Mr B’s Emporium Bookshop in Bath, England is my favorite bookstore. They have amazing books, knowledgeable staff and my favorite thing: the “book spa” — a telephone booth with curtains and a comfy armchair and a tiny tray and headphones and you pick some music and a book and they bring you a cup of tea and biscuits and you draw the curtains and snuggle in for an hour of “book spa-ing”. And I love their tote bags too.

    It’s the best.

  245. I think you have a great advantage because you are “known” and you will get customers that just want to be around you so you can definitely use that to your advantage and get a unique space because you don’t necessarily need to the foot traffic to bring you in business. I worked for an architectural firm that was in a converted church that had 2 story stained glass windows and hardwood floors and had a few ghost sightings. It was a pain in the ass to manage because it was old and stuff, but it was amazing and had such an “Awww” factor to everyone that came in the door. The owner was able to get it super cheap because no one really wants to buy an old church these days.
    Maybe building ownership isn’t for you… but I don’t see you in a new high tech lease space, I would really love to see you in a space that has character.

  246. And on #nationalferretday no less! Oooooooooooooo Jenny! This is marvelous! I have recently traveled solo from CT to NC and am already planning a future trip to your bookshop in San Antonio!

  247. WHAT. A. FANTASTIC. IDEA!!!! One of the things I love most about book stores are comfy spots to sit and read. I also love good artwork in these spots- and if you can’t have margaritas on account of Victor and pesky liquor licensing, then I do truly adore the scent of good coffee and baked goods. Sigh. I will go to San Antonio from NM JUST to visit your bookstore Jenny. <3

    Also PS we will NEED shop cats AND ferrets. They will need nametags. If we can pretend they are fetching cookies, all the better. Tell Victor your fan base demands it. Does he really want to be responsible for denying your fan base? I DIDN’T THINK SO. 😉

  248. A reading area that is set up like a giant blanket fort. Nooks that are recessed into the wall like a cubby for people to curl up and read. Separate zones for people who want to chitchat and people who need quiet introvert time. Ooooooh, and a designated day when people could bring their pets!

  249. Hard yes to infested with otters but an equally hard yes to small bar! I don’t know what the laws are like in Texas about drinking in establishments, but as Northeasterner I assume it’s similar to guns and there aren’t any.

    My favorite bookstore is Eight Cousins in Falmouth MA. I think yours will just end up being the intangible things I love about it without you even trying (except for “There throughout my childhood”, but maybe you could Mandela Effect it into my brain?), but one small thing is that they put their sticker inside each book they sell. I love that because then I’ll never forget where I got the book, which makes it more special.

    Also, they have sometimes hosted Paint Nite events which reminded me- I think some Tribe people who are good at painting organized an online version once. Maybe there could be another of those that’s online AND at the store?

  250. Well, that sounds rather ambitious, what with all the ferrets and kittens and raspberry donuts…not to mention the books.

    However, my recommendation is that you do immediate research by watching the entire series (it’s only 3 seasons!) of Black Books, so you can know how to act as a book shop owner and you can start looking for your Manny today.

    Much luck, and I hope this is both an enjoyable and a profitable venture!

  251. My two cents about bookstores that I love: something different. As said by others, whatever you do is amazing, so I have no doubt your bookstore will not be any different. One of my favorite bookstores has little fairy lights all over, and soft lighting. It’s cozy, yet vast. They carry books that are bestsellers, but also little known books from authors that maybe don’t get a lot of press. Do you remember coming to Raleigh NC for your You are Here tour? Quail Ridge Bookstore is where I saw you, and that’s a fantastic bookstore.

  252. OK, this might have otten deleted, so here it is again. This idea reminds me of a children’s bookstore in Minneapolis called Wild Rumpus. It has a kid sized door inside the big door. It has glass panels in the floor for tarantulas. It has shop cats and shop chickens. It is magical. I imagine your shop as a cross between that, and Shakespeare and Co. in Paris. Either way, we are very supportive of this idea in MN, and would be happy to do a destination roadtrip in winter to come and see it. Good luck!!

  253. I’m delighted to see a couple of other people asking for accessibility friendly! Please make that a priority. But still old and spooky. 😀

  254. Comfy chairs and a wine bar are a must! I also vote for Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman replicas that sing/narrate (actual Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman would be preferable, but I’m trying to live in reality here).

  255. The best bookstore ever is The Tattered Cover in downtown Denver, Colorado. It is three stories of exposed brick in an old warehouse with well worn wooden flooring and lots of reading nook’s with overstuffed arm chairs. See if you can find any interior pictures of that place… The only thing lacking are the animals! Don’t be fooled if you type in the name and discover the satellite operations that they have at the various airports… Ignore that entirely! Can’t wait for you to open so I can use some of my Southwest airlines miles to come and visit!

  256. Definitely have new and used books.; and sell all your fun Bloggess goods. There was one where I used to live that had an antique wood and stained glass bar right in the middle that served as the register and information desk. I also like when the bookstores carry independent books and art by local artists.

  257. Best news! This is so good on so many levels, for all of us. I may live in Canada, but it’s good for me, too. Bravo, mazel tov!! Looking forward to hearing more.

  258. My small bit of encouragement/advice would be to celebrate voices and sources that might be missed in the Big Stores. Poetry. Art. Writers from marginalized communities; women, people of colour, indigenous writers, KIDS who are authors… there are so many great ones. I just finished reading a series by N.K. Jemisin, a Hugo award winner who is a black woman writing science fiction/fantasy – and she is INCREDIBLE.
    Good luck to you. The world needs more great bookstores!

  259. When we lived in Charleston, a university town in south-central Illinois, I worked part-time in a small Mom & Pop bookshop called Lincoln Book Shop. First off, everything in Illinois is named for Abe (or his mother Sarah) Lincoln. The owners were a professor of English and his wife, an eccentric, wonderful woman. That was the best job I ever had. It was much like you are describing your bookshop-to-be. I think with you being so well known, it will be a successful venture financially as well as creatively. And, here’s the plus, my dad lives in San Antonio, so I may actually get to visit the shop. Best of luck.

  260. My favourite bookshop ever had wonky floors, cubbyholes with chairs, themed displays (not based on bestseller lists), newspapers and magazines from around the world, and staff who really knew and loved books. The owners were previously librarians (it bears repeating that librarians never retire) who had spot-on next book suggestions for all ages and interests.

  261. I would love to see books and events that highlight marginalized communities – work from women of color, indigenous authors, LGBTQ writers, etc. Collaborate with minority-owned local businesses to support them – like have a local bakery cater your opening or sell trinkets made by local WOC. That would definitely get me into a book store!

  262. I read that as book “desserts” and not deserts which some books actually ARE dessert. I think you should name the bookstore “Joe Hates You” and have a corner nook with an empty chair labeled with Joe’s name on it.

  263. Used books, old books, out of print books. Not just the current best sellers. And yes cats. My wife worked at a library with a cat for years and it made the place alive.

  264. So basically, you need to find a space that’s a haunted Victorian in a nice, new shopping center, with friendly ghosts glowing with a lot of light, a small bar with giant chairs, and infested with otter landlords. That should be no problem.

  265. I live in a place where we have an awesome local book store (Denver area, Tattered Cover). What I love about it are the many staff recommendations, casual atmosphere, and accessible staff. Knowing I can sit there for hours and peruse the books, have a coffee, and read a few chapters before buying is the best. I’m so excited you’re doing this and can’t wait to make a trip to SA and visit it.

  266. Coffee, but only one really good kind and the only options are cream and/or sugar and black. 2 kinds of tea (one of which has to be Earl Gray). Definitely Margaritas if you want to hassle with liquor licenses and liabilities. Cats for sure but not ferrets as they like to run up people’s pant legs and chew on books. You also need a store mascot, the obvious choice would be a racoon and I can’t decide if there should be an area for rugrats or not. They are noisy and annoying even when they are your own. Maybe some well appointed cages for children in a separate soundproof room? Just spitballing…

    I think you’ll do great and it’s a wonderful idea!

  267. San Antonio is now on my list of places to visit. I like bookstores where them employees don’t look at you weird when you ask if they have he book “by the author who wrote about Victorian horse riding. It had a blue cover and with a cat on it.” Also who don’t mind helping you find a book. Because I rarely know the author.

  268. I always thought if I had a shop of some kind, I’d
    1. Have a community wall where people could submit random acts of kindness they had seen.
    2. Have some way for people to earn store credit by doing chores or something.
    3. Have an easy way for people to purchase ‘pay or forward’ bucks or something. I’ve seen it on the internet at restaurants where people buy a slice for someone homeless or down on their luck to get a slice.

  269. I did not have time to read all the comments but (1) awesome idea and congratulations, (2) favorite bookstore to date = Tattered Cover, Denver, CO, and sorry if someone already posted it but here’s the website https://www.tatteredcover.com/ and not coincidentally this is where my husband found & purchased Furiously Happy, (3) PLEASE open a branch in Houston after you are wildly successful in San Antonio. 🙂

  270. Brilliant! You will flourish! Bookstores that I love have many of the things you describe, and I see ferrets as a major plus (sorry, Victor! 🙂 ). I saw a story on Atlas Obscura about a library that has bats to eat the book-eating bugs its historic book collection attracts, and my first thought was, I WANT TO SEE THE BATS! And then, OOH, HISTORIC MANUSCRIPTS? I’m not sure you want to go the live bats route, but maybe some taxidermied bat-guardians would be proper. I mean, at least, right? The bookstores I visit repeatedly stock not just the mainstream books, but something in a niche such as “regional poetry” or what have you. I’m a huge fan of bookstores that stock contemporary poetry. The bookstores I love most, most, most are the ones that have the same programs as a public library might have and that are connected to the community. You’ve got this going on. Congratulations! I’m excited for you! (Books trip to San Antonio. 😉

  271. This is amazing! My favorite bookstore is brand new and so needed in my town. It’s called Story on the Square in McDonough, GA. It’s a book store and has all the great things local bookstores have except there’s a bar in the bookstore called…. Wait for it……… Rough Draft! I think the most important thing about a local bookstore is community and inclusion. Bookstores are safe spaces for introverts alike. I’m so excited to be a part from afar!

  272. AWESOMENESS!! The Alabama theater in West Houston (that is now a Trader Joe’s) was a BOOKSTOP originally before Barnes & Noble purchased them waaaaayyyyy back. I know because i worked for B&N/B.Dalton/Scribner’s, etc. for many years – in Real Estate, Construction and then did a ton of their store planning;) Lemme know if you need annnnny thing!
    XStacy

  273. Best of luck to you in this exciting endeavor!!! I did it once, almost 10 years ago now. Lasted for three years… but, sadly, could not go on longer than that. Just didn’t have the sales and it ended in bankruptcy. I’d be happy to help in any way, even though I live up here in (nearly) the Great White North. I can help with the things you should not do as I recall the things I found out too late to fix the mistakes I made. Again, best of luck!! I truly LOVED my shop, my customers, and just knowing I was doing something really really good. I hope you succeed and are a bookstore owner forever!!!

  274. One of my favorite books is THE LOVE LETTER by Cathleen Schine, in which Helen is a 40-something owner of a small bookstore, a renovated PINK house called HORATIO STREET BOOKS. I’ve always wanted to live in that book and run that bookstore. ::sigh::

  275. This is my dream too but mine would have a bakery in it. My opinion, it needs to be in some place homey. When you walk in you smell old books and coffee and baked desserts. You can’t get that from a new, fancy store-front. Comfortable old couches and recliners. Books you can read and leave a bookmark in and someone won’t remove it before you come back to read again another day. Real, antique teacups that don’t match. Places where you can work on jigsaw puzzles. A sunny back porch to read in the warm days; a shaded front porch swing to read during the many hot months. I’m in Houston but I would definitely visit. Good luck! If anything doesn’t feel like you then don’t do it.

  276. A nice old storefront would be great. I’m thinking wood floors, old furniture and a door with a bell that rings when someone comes in. It’s important to make sure the place is handicapped accessible. No big flights of stairs between you and a part of the space, that sucks. And totally hook it up to the floo network so we can all come and visit.
    There is a totally awesome indy bookstore in St. Louis called Left Bank Books. They have a bookstore cat and everything! You should look them up. http://www.left-bank.com

  277. Read alouds to children is always a good idea. and Several comfy upholstered Queen Anne chairs with the little feet.
    Big windows at the front, or sky lights that let in sunlight so it doesn’t feel too dark.
    But I’m probably channeling the spirit of this lovely used bookstore on Broadway in Denver. The books are old and weathered, but the shop is older. The building is 200yrs old, and the wood floors let out that baked wood smell in the summer, and the big shop windows let in the light, while a big dog naps by the front counter.
    That’s the kind of magic I love.

  278. This is fabulous news!! Congratulations Jenny!!! I used to work at a bookstore I think the secret to keeping a bookstore open is diversifying what you’re offering your customers. Maybe consider magazines and perhaps some writer’s workshops with guest authors? The shop I worked out also sold cards. Best wishes!!

  279. AMAZING!!! I’m totally coming out there when you’re finished 😀
    There’s a cool bookstore in San Diego that has a staircase to the 2nd floor which is the kid’s section and that area also has games for them & I think a floor chess board with 3′ chess pieces. Plus I think it might have a cafe… and seating, but not enough fluffy seating if I recall.

    I’m so friggin excited for your dream!! Makes me want to work faster on my book so I can maybe see it on your shelves when I get there EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  280. A perfect bookstore would have wine, better yet a full bar. I always read books based on employee review cards under book.
    Great music, a massage room and a area with babysitters to read to kids and do crafts while moms read and shop.
    Have 5 types of book clubs available to join.
    Be careful about cats because of allergies.
    Have kids birthday room where book birthday parties can occur, themed of course to a book(ie matilda)
    Have a donation area for books for children.
    Limit books to only the best

  281. My favourites boom shops are the second hand ones. There’s no bright lights or music playing, it hasnt been sanitized to death. It smells of pages, and you have to peruse to find real gems. The ones where art and poetry take up larger spaces than self help, but the self help section encourages the spirit, and not a cheap 30 day gimmick. Also, a dog. A loveable old dog who comes to check on your while youre digging thru the bottom shelf.

    In short, i like bookshops that feel like youve finally been given permission to go into your favourite grandparent’s/professor’s study. It’s cozy and you never have to leave.

  282. My favorite book store growing up was called tatnucl bookseller. It was in an old gun factory. All bright sun, wood floors and brick walls. It was a place that you loved to wander, even if you were not buying books. It sold gifts and had a cute cafe! Now I live in Key West, FL and my favorite shop is books & books. Judy Blume owns it and it has the same calm feeling. Books stores are essential to life!! I’m proud of you for writing this down and taking the 1st step of planning for the dream.

  283. Hooray!!! The world always needs more of this and I am here for you! My favorite bookstore is Powell’s in Portland because they have new and used and it is quirky and people come and I can support them in person or I can shop online. You will be great

  284. Perfect for you. Yes on nooks and overstuffed chairs from some grammy’s house. Maybe a section with Antiquarian and hard to find books? I finally scored a copy of “Super Pickle” as a present for my adult daughter. We were both thrilled.

  285. This sounds very similar to my favourite book shop, Shakespeare & Co in Paris. I’ve only been there once, in May 2017. Unfortunately it will be a while before I visit again; I live 12,600km away. 😭
    Have you been there?

  286. I think you need to move closer to Austin where all of us weirdos would fill up that bookstore on the regular! Until you come to your senses, I SUPPOSE I can drive the 45 minutes… 😉

  287. I do almost all of my reading through library books. I love me a library. I would LOVE for a local bookstore to have reading-related paraphernalia–magnetic bookmarks, nerdy literature t-shirts and bags. Then I could shop local to support my fellow nerds while identifying myself as a book lover and still making my trek to the library.

  288. OMGOMGOMG I will have an excuse to come back and visit san Antonio. IT HAS TO BE HAUNTED… its you,,, that’s not ultra modern and sleek that’s haunted and a little full of bats and cats and completely wonderful!

  289. I love this! Haunted, old Victoria, cats, bookmobile (I had one in my childhood neighborhood that I loved!).

  290. We had the best book store where we used to live Buttonwood books. It was great because it had a kids toy section, so if we needed a birthday gift (like every Saturday) we could grab it and I could check out the books at the same time and my kids always wanted to go there which made me happy because I could again check out the books.

  291. YES!!!!! I will absolutely make a trip to Texas for this! My favorite bookstore ever recently closed up. It was Aardvark’s on Church St in San Francisco. The shop cat, Owen was adopted by one of the employees and He now has an Instagram account. (I think it’s Owen Aardvark, but don’t quote me). The Iliad Bookshop in Los Angeles is pretty amazing. I can’t wait to see/hear more about your place!

  292. So ready! I live in Austin but will totally make trips the SA to see what wonderful weirdness you create!

  293. Love, love, love that you’re following your heart Jenny! My suggestion would be to place book related art and craft items (local/smalltime artist wares) available in each section. Like jewelry inspired by LOTR in the Fantasy section or stuffed Ravens with the Poetry. When readers aren’t reading we’re often spending our moola on book or fandom related stuff and its nice to find unique art (vs. made in china plastics). It’ll help profitability I’m sure. I just bought myself some scrabble earrings (NOS4A2) and eyeing a pair of Luna Radish earrings (HP) for a friend on etsy. Good luck, I’m sure it’ll be grand!

  294. OMG Jenny this is so awesome. I now have an ULTRA GOOD reason to visit San Antonio!!

  295. Oh, so excited for this venture (though I’m not near San Antonio)!

    I love bookstores where you can get lost, but not have that panicked feeling of “oh shit, I’m lost” but that, “let’s keep wandering, maybe Narnia (or Temerant, or the Cosmere, or whatever your bookish mind things of) is over there”. Shakespeare and Co. in Madison, WI comes to mind…

  296. Omg please! Anywhere near the med center needs this! I will be in town tomorrow and will be happy to look at places that would work. I will basically live there when I’m not hiding from the world in my apt.

  297. I am the most pragmatic person ever so no great ideas from me, but as a construction manager, I encourage you to find a design team that can really bring your vision to life. You are incredibly creative! The process will be fun with the right team around you and tedious if you’re struggling to get your ideas from your head into build-able construction drawings. Find someone who “gets you” and who understands your budget and schedule goals. I know the space will be amazing and I’m sure, with the right preparation and planning, the process will be a blast, too!

  298. Idea: Hire me to drive the bookmobile or take care of the cats and ferrets… I’ll have to relocate though… but I’m thinking of it anyway because this bookstore idea is PERFECTION.

  299. Amaaaaaazing! I live in Austin and only shop at BookPeople but will be so glad to have another local option for when I visit my in-laws in SA. Have a Narnia-type portal where a wardrobe or bookshelf leads to a secret room! Be sure to have changing tables in both the men’s and women’s restrooms for those of us with littles (or better yet, have universal restrooms, gender be damned, but it is so annoying when only the ladies room has a place to change my daughter, as if my husband is incapable?!). Big fat yes vote for a store cat or two or twelve. Story time for the kiddos, coffee and tea and cookies help too. Any way you could get your friend Neil Gaiman to be on staff?!? 🙂

  300. OMG yes… YES YES YES!! This is so much better than whatever I thought you were going to announce when you asked us to yell at you on Facebook… And now I have a real motivational reason to sit down and write a freaking book, or twelve. I’ve no idea why this is so inspirational but it is.

    OH and can we have a rotating art gallery, please? (Because art is a revolution. Or some other ridiculous punnery)

  301. As an ex bookbuyer, at a University Bookstore, I was in charge of the books people really want to read not textbooks, my advice is to have great relationships with publishers reps, they can keep you informed on national tours of authors and help you set up wonderful book signings and readings of nationally known authors that might be touring near you. I got Maya Angelou on the cuff that way and a totally unadvertised signing brought in 5.000 people word of mouth, and Steven King stopped in on his motorcycle tour of the USA and no signing was even planned but about 100 stormed the store and got signatures, I sold out all of his books I had in the store in about 5 minutes and people in the dorms brought their own when they heard he was in the parking lot. Also, dedicate a section of the store to local authors, your books go there as well as published books from faculty authors at a local college if you have one in the area and set up readings for those local authors and book signings for them as well. Coffee and Tea is a great idea along with pastries. And really, hire those that read, in fact, make it part of their job to keep up on the current trends in literature, hire English majors and Artists. The local independent store that I love is Watermark Books and Cafe…https://www.watermarkbooks.com/. They also sell handmade toys from local toymakers, and artwork from local artists as well as books, they sell those on consignment so it’s always fun to walk into a bookstore with so many unique things. Maybe you could sell consignment taxidermy? Make sure you make a webpage for the event notifications, announcements of new books, recommendations from you and your staff. And yes, like many others here I’d much prefer an old house with wooden shelves over a shopping center metal shelves environment with cozy couches and chairs in nooks and crannies.

  302. How brave and wonderful!
    Y’all make me proud to be a Texan. Promise to drive over to visit SA from here in East Texas if you 1. Have cats. Ferrets are optional 2. Zillions of books, new and used. 3. A quirky space. (Victor is being practical, but an old house is way, way more interesting) 4. Good lighting and seating and clean bathrooms. 5. And when I come to visit your Parents drop in, since they are my age 😉

  303. Big comfy chairs and tea and hats and boas (the feather kind) to wear whilst drinking tea and reading in the big comfy chairs

  304. I love that you are going to open a bookshop. Can I please recommend you keep accessibility in mind? I’ve been to so many places where friends who need walking aids or use wheelchairs can’t look around once they get inside; shelves too close together, stairs and no elevator, etc.

    Also please consider a kids corner that has craft books and tables where someone braver than me can teach the kids while parents get a chance to look around. 🙂

  305. OhMyGodOhMyGodOhMyGod I love EVERYTHING about this. Now I have one more reason to go visit my nephew in Austin! The best bookstores need lots of used books looking for a new home, several big, comfy (not haunted! )chairs and employees who love books as much as I do. Good luck finding the perfect spot!

  306. This pleases me so much! I’ve always wanted to own a bookshop and live in an apartment above it. I’m so excited for and slightly jealous of you right now! Congratulations, and please post pics of prospective locations you check out. I’m in agreement on the comfy chairs and the ghost. A warm, inviting, and comfortable atmosphere is always a huge plus in a bookshop. I hope you find the perfect place.

  307. This is amazeballs!! I would say near the med center would be awesome! So many people there who would welcome a place to go and feel comfortable.

  308. Oooh, also have second hand books as well as new, which lets people sell and buy new-to-them books.
    If you have space for a separate area for children then consider story times

  309. Oh, I’m so excited for you! Have faith in yourself and let this happen, and I’ll find a way to visit from New England!

    I have no brilliant ideas that haven’t already been mentioned– what you’re describing sounds lovely to me, and I would just emphasize the need for coffee and tables and chairs and OUTLETS for plugging in laptops. Excuse the all caps– I’ve visited too many lovely places without convenient power outlets!!! Ahem.

    Sending love and support– build it and we will come! Hugs.

  310. I have to concur with the suggestions for comfy seating. I will side with Victor on location. You want good A/C and a nice tight building so your utilities don’t kill your dream. Settle for haunted furniture. Margaritas are way over done…the Cinemark in Round Rock has a frozen Jack and Coke machine. (I think it serves like three flavors to be honest and one is a strawberry margarita – but a boozy cherry coke slurpee is all I was seeing) Of course the only potential hiccup there is dealing with TABC! Good solid tea, coffee and a hot chocolate to die for are all good additions. Other loves – include local independent graphic novels in your selections. There is a huge amount of local talent. Feature local artists as well as writers. Hang that stuff on the wall – make it wild and beautiful. Host writing workshops. Host tea parties with literary characters as guests. Carry fine papers and writing tools. Many readers tend to be penpal and postal swap junkies. I love the ideas of books on demand and those printer prices are coming down. A STAGE! Everywhere needs a stage. Don’t let the ‘fun’ hurt your bottom line. Used books are fantastic – but you cannot be everything and be financially successful. Limit your used selections to first editions, antiques and truly special things. Put NEW books into the hands of NEW readers and introduce them to NEW writers. We want this to be something that sticks around. Now go watch The Bookshop and be Christine! lol

  311. I love this!!! You will have THE best bookstore EVER. I’m going to have to make a trip to San Antonio now. And I vote Haunted Victorian, and DEFINITELY with otters. Or ferrets. Maybe some bison out back?

  312. I am envisioning a taxidermy and steampunk aesthetic, with a TARDIS that leads to the bathroom (obviously) and every time someone opens the door it makes that distinctive TARDIS “swooshing” sound. I also think that wine should be served, as well as coffee because it’s never too early for wine and never too late for coffee (at least in my world).

    I assume that most book signing and author events will involve some form of cosplay.

    I can’t wait to see what you create!

  313. Oh, Jenny. This is so wonderful! Mazel tov, my friend! I am a librarian, so LOVE the idea of having events and programs and rooms for different purposes! HEY! Do you need a librarian on staff?? I would like to formally apply to work in this literary utopia ASAP! But I am deathly allergic to cats… Waaw Woooh. (Is that the way you write the Debbie Downer noise?)

    Definitely need refreshments and a kick ass Tween/Teen section. So happy for you. And only a little bit kidding about being your personal librarian. I’m available to start immediately. After I move to TX, of course…

  314. In my mind, I see your bookstore as a sort of cross between a Hogwarts library and the one I grew up with in Huntington Beach, Ca. Kind of dark and mystical, with big, comfy chairs and couches in corners and quiet spots. A middle atrium with skylights and a water feature, a spiral staircase, lots of dark, wooden bookshelves, the margarita bar in the back, and the sci-fi, magic, and mystery sections being HUGE.

    I also see cats, but no ferrets. I’m a person who does not like ferrets.(We do exist!)

    I’m adding a link to the public library from my home area. We all loved it. It’s in a park setting, with a lake, ducks, trees…it’s just so awesome!

    While you’re looking at the photos, also check out pictures of the Huntington Beach Library Garden. It’s such a beautiful area. https://www.google.com/search?q=huntington+beach+public+library&client=ms-android-verizon-sscr&prmd=mniv&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjQ05DEnbLhAhUvCjQIHT_pBqoQ_AUoA3oECAwQAw&cshid=1554236507712&biw=320&bih=530