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 replies. read them below or add one

  1. This shall be awesome!

    Like

  2. 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.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Now I’ll have a reason to go to San Antonio!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 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)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We need to move to San Antonio, pronto!!!

    Like

  6. 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.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. 8
    Debbi Kapp Brody

    WTG!

    Like

  8. How fantastic! Best of luck and all the energy!

    Like

  9. 10
    Sara McLane

    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!!!

    Like

  10. 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.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. Haunted Victorian..definitely haunted victorian.

    Like

  12. 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)

    Liked by 3 people

  13. 14
    erwillia88

    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!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. 15
    arielkirst

    I can’t wait to visit it virtually! So much fabulous luck!

    Like

  15. This is amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. 18
    IceBearNinja

    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.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. 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

    Like

    Wenona Gardner recently posted Revitalizing Native American Culture Through Oneida Beadwork Classes.

  18. 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! 😀

    Liked by 4 people

  19. 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!!!

    Like

  20. 22
    Collie Dog Press

    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….

    Like

  21. 23
    tishbolton73

    OMG YAASSSS

    Like

  22. 24
    Nikki Cooper

    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!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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

    Like

  24. 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.

    Like

  25. 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.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. 28
    Tracy LeMoine

    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.

    Like

  27. 29
    Kimberly Brandon Rolzhausen

    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!

    Liked by 2 people

  28. 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.

    Like

  29. 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?

    Like

  30. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Only employ voracious readers.

    Like

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

    Like

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

    Like

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

    Like

  35. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

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

    Like

  37. 39
    Lori Hunstad

    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

    Like

  38. 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

    Like

  39. 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!!!!

    Like

  40. What about selling new and used books?

    Like

  41. 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.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. 44
    Kim Turner

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

    Like

  43. 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.

    Like

  44. 46
    Collie Dog Press

    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!

    Like

  45. 47
    Betty Smyth

    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

    Like

  46. Make sure it’s covered in ridiculous taxidermy please!

    Liked by 3 people

  47. Here’s a place I loved in college that’s still around, if you seek any inspiration https://www.groundsforthought.com/bookstore

    Best of luck to you!

    Like

  48. 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.

    Like

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

    Like

  50. 52
    Tony Williams

    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 🙂

    Like

  51. 53
    Tracey Lee Wallace

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

    Like

  52. Lovely!

    Like

  53. 55
    Tammy Eaton

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

    Liked by 1 person

  54. 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!

    Like

  55. 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.

    Like

  56. 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/

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    The Suzzzz recently posted Stop The Hate.

  57. 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!

    Like

  58. 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.

    Like

  59. 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!!!

    Like

  60. 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!

    Like

  61. http://www.bookbarn.com/ – keep an eye out for unusual spaces, like a barn!

    Like

  62. Wait. So instead of going BookPeople to meet you, you WILL BE BookPeople? OMG OMG OMG fangirling.

    Like

  63. 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?

    Like

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

    Like

  65. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

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

    Like

  67. 69
    Tracey Lee Wallace

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

    Like

  68. 70
    Niki Cooper

    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!

    Liked by 1 person

  69. Just shut up and take my money.

    Also, I’m voting for the haunted manse.

    Like

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  70. 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!

    Like

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

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  72. 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.

    Like

  73. 75
    Janis Marie

    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!!!

    Like

  74. What a wonderful idea!

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

    Like

  76. 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!

    Like

  77. 79
    unicornfay

    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.

    Like

  78. 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).

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

    Like

  80. 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.

    Like

  81. 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??

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  82. Welp. Time to move back to San Antonio.

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  83. 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.

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

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

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  86. 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.

    Like

  87. 89
    Jennifer Yarbrough

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

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

    Chelle

    Like

  89. 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.)

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  90. 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.

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  91. 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. 🙂

    Like

  92. Please have a secret door entrance somewhere! I’d also totally be on board for the haunted Victorian 🙂

    Like

  93. 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.

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  94. ALL THE CATS!

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  95. 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.

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

    Like

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

    Liked by 1 person

  98. 100
    Anonymous

    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.

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  99. 101
    Courtney McIntyre

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

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  100. 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.

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  101. 103
    liesehaley

    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.

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  102. do an edible book fest (example here: https://guides.lib.berkeley.edu/edible-book-festival) thus combining literature AND raspberry donuts…

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  103. 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:)

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  104. 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!

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  105. 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.

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  106. 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!

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  107. 109
    Anonymous

    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.

    Like

  108. 110
    Christine McIntyre

    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

    Like

  109. 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

    Like

  110. 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.

    Like

  111. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

  112. How exciting!!

    Like

  113. 115
    Anonymous

    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!

    Like

  114. 116
    Anonymous

    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.

    Liked by 1 person

  115. You can’t not. Please please please do a stand alone haunted bookstore. It would be a destination.

    Like

  116. 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.

    Like

  117. 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.

    Like

  118. 120
    Anonymous

    I vote for both ferrets and ghostly Victorian infested with otters!

    Like

  119. 121
    Anonymous

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

    Like

  120. 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’ 😂😂😂

    Like

  121. 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!

    Like

  122. 124
    Anonymous

    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.

    Liked by 1 person

  123. 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!

    Like

  124. 126
    Anonymous

    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.

    Like

  125. 127
    redclub004

    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!

    Like

  126. 128
    Tracey Robertson

    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.

    Like

  127. i cant wait to come visit!

    Like

  128. 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!

    Like

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

    Like

  130. 132
    Anonymous

    do edible book fest (example: https://guides.lib.berkeley.edu/edible-book-festival) and combine literature AND raspberry donuts…

    Like

  131. 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

    Like

  132. 134
    Anonymous

    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.

    Like

  133. 135
    Sandra c Burns

    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.

    Liked by 1 person

  134. 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!

    Like

    thehuntress915 recently posted Lets Talk About…..Weird Co-Workers.

  135. 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.

    Like

  136. You will def need ferret cams. Especially if they are coexisting with tea, scones, or jewelry they can pilfer.

    Like

  137. Hammocks… it must have hammocks 🙂

    Like

  138. 141
    A Nony Mouse

    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!

    Liked by 1 person

  139. 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.

    Like

  140. 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!!

    Like

  141. Let me know if you need a manager. I have experience.

    Like

  142. 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!

    Like

  143. 146
    Jill Schugardt

    What a great idea. Any good book store needs a surly cat.

    Like

  144. 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!!!!

    Like

  145. So amazing!!! That would be the type of bookstore that I’d fly across the country to visit.

    Like

  146. 149
    Anonymous

    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!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  147. 150
    Micha Ann

    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.

    Like

  148. 151
    Anonymous

    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.

    Like

  149. 152
    Anonymous

    I would definitely be first in line to adopt a raspberry donut..

    Like

  150. 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!

    Like

  151. 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.

    Like

    OwnLessDoMore.us recently posted Turning 50 was a bit of a surprise. As in, “Baby, pack a bag!”.

  152. 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!)

    Like

  153. 156
    Anonymous

    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.

    Like

  154. 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?

    Like

  155. 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?

    Like

  156. This is the best news! Except for the ferrwts. They are cute, but I do not let smelly things around my books. Not even mynkids.

    Like

  157. 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.

    Like

  158. 161
    Anonymous

    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!

    Like

  159. 162
    Anonymous

    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.

    Like

  160. 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.

    Like

  161. 2nd the suggestion to check out Wild Rumpus! it’s an awesome bookstore: https://www.wildrumpusbooks.com/meet-animals

    Like

  162. 165
    Anonymous

    Periodic scavenger hunts?? 😃

    Like

  163. 166
    Lauren Kerbel

    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!

    Like

  164. So exciting! I love handwritten book recommendations on the shelves. They just seem so personal and special. I’ve found so many favorite books from recommendation cards!

    Like

  165. 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!

    Like

  166. 👏👏👏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!

    Like

  167. 170
    Quelletopia

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

    Like

  168. 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!

    Like

  169. 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.

    Like

  170. YOU ARE LIVING MY DREAM and I could not possibly be more excited about this whole idea. ❤
    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.

    Like

    Shannon akaMonty recently posted Double the fun! Or more likely double, double, toil and trouble..

  171. 174
    Rebecca Russell

    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!

    Like

  172. 175
    Anonymous

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

    Like

  173. 176
    Jessica Ferraro

    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.

    Like

  174. 177
    Jaime Hernandez

    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. 🙂

    Like

  175. 178
    Maureen Forrest

    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.

    Like

  176. 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.

    Like

  177. 180
    Nancy, Saskatchewan, Canada

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

    Like

  178. 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 🙂

    Like

  179. 182
    Anonymous

    Look up 1723 N Comal !!!!!

    Like

  180. 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!

    Like

  181. 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!

    Like

  182. 185
    Anonymous

    Ferrets are fairly smelly, maybe stick with bookstore cats.

    Like

  183. 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.

    Like

  184. 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.

    Like

  185. 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.

    Like

  186. 189
    Anonymous

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

    Like

  187. 190
    Anonymous

    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!

    Liked by 1 person

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

    (Totally. ~ Jenny)

    Liked by 1 person

  189. 192
    Anonymous

    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.

    Like

  190. 193
    Sherrie Vineyard

    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.

    Like

  191. 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)

    Like

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

    Like

  193. 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!!!!!

    Like

  194. 197
    Patricia Laden

    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

    Like

  195. 198
    Gina Watts

    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.

    Like

  196. 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?

    Like

  197. 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.

    Like

  198. 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!

    Like

  199. 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.

    Like

  200. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  201. 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!

    Like

  202. 205
    Anonymous

    I am so happy for you!!! This is a great idea.

    Like

  203. 206
    Anonymous

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

    Like

  204. 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.

    Like

  205. 208
    Bellwether

    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)

    Liked by 1 person

  206. 209
    Laura McGilp

    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!

    Like

  207. 210
    Anonymous

    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.

    Like

  208. 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!

    Like

  209. You had me a strap-on ferrets.

    Like

  210. 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)

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  211. 214
    Anonymous

    https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/livraria-lello I have been here and it is magical. Not a great place to sit and read b/c it is such a popular attraction, but one could certainly draw inspiration from its beauty and history.

    Like

  212. 215
    Jennifer Whelan

    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!

    Like

  213. 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.

    Like

  214. 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)

    Like

  215. 218
    Anonymous

    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.

    Like

  216. 219
    Kaitlin J

    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!

    Like

  217. 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 🙂

    Like

  218. 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.)

    Like

  219. 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

    Like

  220. 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!

    Like

  221. 224
    Anonymous

    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!

    Like

  222. 225
    Tina Landry

    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

    Like

  223. 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.

    Like

  224. 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.)

    Like

    Sue Coon recently posted Obsessed with getting rid of stuff.

  225. 228
    Anonymous

    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.” 🙂

    Like

  226. I think you need to come up to Minneapolis and check out the Wild Rumpus book store they have cats, chickens, a ferret, a chinchilla, rats, and even a tarantula. https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/minnesota/magical-bookstore-mn/

    Like

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

    Like

  228. 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.

    Like

  229. 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! ❤️

    Like

  230. 233
    louise danger

    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.

    Like

  231. 234
    Leslie Campbell

    Haunted Victorian with ferrets 💝💝💝💝

    Like

  232. 235
    Ashlee Fowler

    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.

    Like

  233. 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!

    Like

  234. 237
    Melanie Rose

    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 ❤

    Like

  235. 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

    Like

  236. 239
    Jennifer Hood

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

    Like

  237. 240
    BadGemini

    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!

    Like

  238. 242
    Diane Matthews

    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.

    Like

  239. 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!

    Like

  240. 244
    Rachel Quick

    please please please hire me as your bookstore manager

    Like

  241. I’m so proud of you!!! I cannot wait to see this dream come to life! I am an artist if you need murals!!!! 🙂

    Like

  242. 246
    Anonymous

    Not a strip center unless it’s a cool funky one. They do exist. This is the coolest bookstore I have ever been in. http://batteryparkbookexchange.com I have some great photos of it but can’t figure out how to post them here.

    Like

  243. 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.

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  244. 248
    Kathy Mayers

    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 :-).

    Like

  245. 249
    Leigh Singleton

    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!

    Like

  246. 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!

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  247. 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).

    Like

  248. I forgot to add. Totally team haunted Victorian over here!

    Like

  249. 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.

    Like

  250. 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.

    Like

  251. 255
    Carolyn Stephens

    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.

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  252. 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!

    Like

  253. 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

    Like

  254. 258
    Vanessa LaWare

    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!

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  255. 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. 😊❤️❤️❤️

    Like

  256. Big comfy chairs and big mugs of tea.

    Liked by 1 person

  257. 261
    Anonymous

    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.

    Like

  258. 262
    Lady Bird-Brai

    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.

    Like

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

    Like

  260. 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!)

    Like

  261. 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!

    Like

  262. This is an epic idea. Congratulations ❤

    Like

  263. 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.

    Like

  264. I love used books, games, and music.

    Open mic night!

    Like

  265. 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. .

    Like

  266. 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.

    Like

  267. 272
    Joelle Chelkowski

    I want to go to there

    Like

  268. 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.

    Like

  269. 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!

    Like

  270. Omg I would totally fly from Chicago just to visit your shop! You go Jenny!!

    Like

  271. 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)

    Like

  272. 277
    lifeoffaif

    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/

    Like

  273. 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!

    Like

  274. 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….

    Like

  275. 280
    Queen Mary

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

    Like

  276. 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)

    Like

  277. 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.

    Like

  278. 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.

    Like

  279. i soon predict a significant uptick in flight purchases to San Antonio.
    (can’t wait!)

    Like

  280. 285
    Anonymous

    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.

    Like

  281. Thrilled to hear about it. Badly need another bookstore in San Antonio!

    Like

  282. 287
    Anonymous

    Fantastic!!!

    Like

  283. 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!!!

    Like

  284. 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)

    Like

  285. 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.

    Like

  286. Hell to the YES. FIELD TRIP!

    Like

  287. 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

    Like

  288. 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!

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  289. 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!

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  290. 295
    Ellen Zachos

    I will probably come to San Antonio just see visit your store.

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  291. 296
    Anonymous

    Cats and coffee.

    Like

  292. 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.

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  293. 298
    Ohlookachicken

    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.

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  294. 299
    Anonymous

    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!

    Like

  295. 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!

    Like

  296. 301
    Alonna Larson

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

    Like

  297. 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…

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  298. 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 ❤

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  299. 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!

    Like

  300. 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!

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  301. 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.

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  302. 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!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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  303. 308
    Anonymous

    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.

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  304. 309
    Jennifer Hood

    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.

    Like

  305. 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!

    Like

  306. It will be amazing!

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  307. 312
    MELIS LOPEZ

    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. ❤

    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. 😉

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  308. 313
    Anonymous

    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!

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  309. 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?

    Like

  310. 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!

    Like

  311. 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.

    Like

  312. 317
    Anonymous

    A meeting room for book clubs–we ALL want to get away from our kids!

    Like

  313. 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!!

    Like

  314. 319
    Anonymous

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

    Like

  315. 320
    tamarness

    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).

    Like

  316. The Book Loft of German Village in Columbus, OH. Crazy maze of 32 rooms covering a city block! Its nuts! https://www.bookloft.com/aboutfaq. https://www.bookloft.com/tour-store

    Like

  317. 322
    Deborah Cook

    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!

    Like

  318. 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.

    Like

  319. 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.

    Like

  320. 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!

    Like

  321. 326
    Lee Ann Perez

    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.

    Like

  322. 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.

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  323. 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!

    Like

  324. 329
    Anonymous

    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.

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  325. 330
    Sally Lynn MacDonald

    Favorite book shop ever would be McNally Jackson / Goods for the Study. Just look at it: http://www.mcnallyjacksonstore.com/service/locations/ a combination of comfort, all the writing tools you could want and a margarita bar would be fabulous.

    Like

  326. 331
    Larry Loc

    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.

    Like

  327. 332
    moonlight69

    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.

    Like

  328. 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.

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  329. 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!

    Like

  330. 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.

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  331. 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.

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  332. 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. 🙂

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  333. 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. 😉

    Like

  334. 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!

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  335. 340
    Anonymous

    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

    Like

  336. 341
    Angela B.

    This is awesome. It needs Beyonce.

    Like

  337. 342
    Carol Goldstein

    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!!!

    Like

  338. 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::

    Like

  339. 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.

    Like

  340. 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

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  341. 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.

    Like

  342. 347
    Micah Summers

    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!!

    Like

  343. 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!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

    Encounter Soul recently posted In Service To Others.

  344. https://www.bookloft.com/tour-store. The Book Loft in Columbus OH is crazy! 32 rooms of books, a city block long. You get a map 😀

    Like

  345. 350
    Anonymous

    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

    Like

  346. 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.

    Like

  347. 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.

    Like

  348. 353
    Anonymous

    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

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  349. I’m so excited!! Road trip to San Antonio.

    I think every bookshop needs at least one cat that comes and goes as it pleases.

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  350. 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.

    Like

  351. omg you need a little cafe in the bookstore too!! AHHHH I AM SO EXCITED! I’m going to visit this bookstore someday!

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  352. 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?

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  353. 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… 😉

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  354. Have you heard about the Brautigan Library? I’d love a local bookstore that had a shelf of unpublished manuscripts for browsing. http://brautiganlibrary.com/index.html

    I’m also a fan of forward-facing books with hand-written reviews.

    Like

  355. 360
    Bonnie Craig

    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.

    Like

  356. 361
    Anonymous

    Could you do cats instead of ferrets? I’m allergic to ferrets.

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  357. 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!

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  358. 363
    Anonymous

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

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  359. 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.

    Like

  360. 365
    Anonymous

    This is AMAZING and now gives me a reason to visit San Antonio!

    Like

  361. 366
    Anonymous

    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!

    Like

  362. 367
    Coyoteblue

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

    Like

  363. 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!

    Like

  364. 369
    Josiphine

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

    Like

  365. 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…

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  366. 371
    Anonymous

    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.

    Like

  367. 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!

    Like

  368. 373
    cg_creative

    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.

    Like

  369. 374
    Katherine

    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?!? 🙂

    Like

  370. 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)

    Like

  371. 376
    Anonymous

    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.

    Like

  372. HOHO, Yes awesome and BEYONCE!!!

    Like

  373. 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 😉

    Like

  374. 379
    Joan in NV

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

    Like

  375. 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. 🙂

    Like

  376. 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!

    Like

  377. 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.

    Like

  378. 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.

    Like

  379. 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

    Like

  380. 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.

    Like

  381. 386
    Stephanie

    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

    Like

  382. 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?

    Like

  383. 388
    Sarah Lockhart

    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!

    Like

  384. 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…

    Like

  385. 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

    Like

  386. 391
    Anonymous

    Please name the store Surprise Ferret Books.

    For what it’s worth, I loved, loved, loved the bookmobile as a kid. Got excited each time it visited my school. I never returned my books on time and always cost my class the pizza party, but that’s another story.

    Like

  387. WOW WOW WOW WOW I love this so much!! I really appreciate when bookstores have a mix of new and used books. Shop cats would be a huge bonus. I’m currently living in LA but would totally make a trip to San Antonio to visit the city that I was born in and see your shop!!!

    Like

  388. What an awesome idea!

    My favourite bookshop is Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, in Bath.
    Stuff they do which I love
    – author events, small enough that it’s possible to actually talk to the author (they charge for tickets, but then you get a small, intimate event, plus they get local, independent businesses to cater the event so there is always food, and you get a big discount (I think 25%) on all books you buy at the event, whether or not they are by the author you’re there for)
    – knowledgeable, friendly staff, who are happy to discuss the books as well as selling them
    – comfy chairs & free tea and coffee so you can sample the wares or just take a break and enjoy your new purchases
    – various book clubs – I think 5, varying from scifi to literary to classics..
    – loyalty rewards – they have a loyalty card which you fill to get £10 off but you also get double stamps if you are using one of their canvas tote bags.
    They also offer a ‘book spa’ where they will meet you (or the person you gift it to) over tea and cake , have an in depth discussion with you about what you like reading, and then do personalised recommendations and a selection of books…

    They don’t have a cat, but other than that it’s practically perfect!

    I’m not sure how to put a link in but their website is https://mrbsemporium.com/

    Like

  389. Maybe a used book corner for cheap? Cos new books = ££££. Also, I am totally on the old Victorian side

    Like

  390. 395
    Jennifer Howard

    My favorite bookstore (Powell’s City of Books, in Portland, OR) has a big concrete column covered in author signatures (and maybe quotes/comments, it’s been a while since I’ve seen it). I think this is super cool. I am so excited that you are doing this, and can’t wait to visit once it’s open. Also, I vote for cozy sitting nooks, a store cat, used as well as new books, and a fireplace if that’s possible.

    Like

  391. http://shakespeare-and-companyparis.tumblr.com/
    Scroll all the way down to see the bookshop cat and even a cute little piggy 🐷 visitor 😊

    Like

  392. I believe It is a brilliant idea. I would focus on science, educational, history, biographies. I would have public readings, everyone can try to read out loud, kind of old “speakers’ corner”, it’s good for readers and audience and melts people together. Cats among shelves, some finger food, not cheap fast food but something more artistic and good quality. European Cheese and red wine, Mexican tequila and guacamole. English pies. Lectures, poetry contests. Sushi, focaccia and white wine.

    Like

  393. 398
    Anonymous

    My favorite neighborhood bookstore had tons of used books and a small amount of new best sellers. She wrote little cards of recommendation for some. There was a table for kids to read and color at the front. Sure always had ice water to drink and sometimes coffee. She never talked to you unless you found her and asked her a question. She had an audiobook section with cassettes and CDs (nothing new). She was a teacher so the hours were after school hours and all day weekends and then all day in the summer and vacations. I loved that place. Good luck. I can’t wait.

    Like

  394. 399
    theladyh11

    OH MY GOD
    This is the best idea ever.
    Also….I’m not local but you should probably just move to Oklahoma and do this.
    It’d be super awesome.

    As for suggestions, I have none because I’m in a book desert and we had a Hastings once but then it got shut down and so I’ve only ever really been to the giants and I don’t like those. I want a tiny little personal touch book store.

    I WILL recommend my best friend who is an author and you should totally carry her books if that’s even a possibility. HER NAME is Jess Bryant and she writes erotica and I bet she would have a total freak out of you picked her up. Her twitter handle is @Jess_Bry

    I love you. You’re amazing.

    Like

  395. I think your blog ate my comment. Apologies if this doubles.
    Maybe a little used book corner for cheaper prices than new shiny books? Cos books = £££. im totally on the old Victorian side.

    Like

  396. Haunted Victorian!!! Shopping malls attract the wrong crowds, keep it quirky!

    Like

  397. I love this plan! I will even come to see the bookstore and buy books (and maybe do a little writing). Something I’d love to see is an “independent” corner, for folks who have self-published, who wouldn’t normally get a lot of love from the big chains.

    And in addition to cozy nooks and easy chairs… hidden things, magic things. If you’re in the middle of re-stocking, and there’s an empty shelf, having a sticker or cut-out of a mouse reading, or a gremlin in the shower – something to keep the shelves from looking completely empty while changing over inventory, and something fun to discover when you pull a book off the shelf. I may or may not be guilty of doing little cartoons and adding them to empty shelves when I’m in bookstores, just because it amuses me to hear someone say “Oh look honey! That’s so cute! It’s a little owl reading! Was that behind the books? Do you think there’s more?”

    Like

  398. 403
    Tyler Pease

    I would suggest modeling it after your favorite library, make it a theme. But add comfy chairs, none of those straight blacked wood chairs that make you hurt…

    Like

  399. 404
    Theotherbrit

    I love M Judson in Greenville SC. It didn’t have every book known to man but it had great organization and felt like the books it did have were chosen thoughtfully. They also have a fabulous chandelier when you come in made out of spoons which someone should probably go steal for you.

    Like

  400. 405
    Anonymous

    My favorite bookstores have a nice variety of books . You can have a couple chairs but you want people to buy the books not just come in and read them. I do not like when people have incense or candles burning. It’s a bookstore, It should smell like one. Have knowledgeable people working there who can help when someone comes in to find a particular book.
    Good Luck

    Like

  401. All my favorite bookstores have cats. You definitely need a cat.

    Like

  402. What I would most value is your opinion. The books that you think are cool are most likely what I would want to read. Curating the books and weird things that you like and bringing it all together to one place would be awesome. I think the human touch is lost nowadays with all the machine learning. For example, when I would go to my local video store to rent a movie (yes, I’m that old), Jan would always know what to recommend to me.

    Like

  403. 408
    Michelle My Belle

    Oh Victorian please!!

    This is probably a long shot suggestion. My family loves Ocracoke Island on the Outerbanks. Nearly every morning on vacation we head down to Ocracoke Coffee Co. and get our favorite morning beverages. A few years back the owners had set up a little meeting place that had comfy chairs and shelves of donated books from the Islanders and vacationers. Sort of a Take One Leave One type of thing. The area to read brought in poetry and book readings. Between the coffee shop and the book area, the place was so darn cozy. I am not sure why, but the reading area was taken away a few years ago. But I loved the idea of having a coffee and books and readings. Just an idea.

    Can’t wait to see your plans come true!

    Like

  404. 409
    jenjens31

    :: adds san antonio to the list of places to visit ::

    Also, cats. Love shop cats!

    Like

  405. 410
    Allison Edler

    i agree with comfy chairs, furballs – cats or dogs. used books donated w/b cool. (with the ability to either say ‘no’ to some, or be able to recycle/repurpose them).
    maybe
    * a space to allow shelters to come in w/ rescue adoptions on certain days
    * windows for natural light. for the areas that aren’t reached by that, use fixtures here and there w/ LEDS, and the ability to dim or brighten? – just NO fluorescents. i hate them.
    *please read the book MISS BROOKS LOVES BOOKS, BUT I DON’T. i love the way that miss brooks dresses up for holidays/book readings & encourages little kids to also. if you get a whackadoo like that in there, kids will swarm & learn to read & love your shop.
    *our library puts on great events for all ages. the book-inspired ones are so fun. My son has been to a couple different Harry Potter parties (and while it is done on the cheap, it was totally amazing). once they had a Harry Potter yoga class. it was a hoot.
    *my elementary school library had big cubbies under the stairs to store the book carts they used & we could earn time to sit in there to read – but having a place like that to go, would be amazing. it was all carpeted w/ industrial type stuff – floor/walls/ceiling. we sat on the floor. it was like a quiet cave. kids are your future customers after all.
    *guess you better have free wifi to capture the millennials’ attention.
    i have had no desire to venture to Texas until now. will go once you open your doors. i cannot wait. KKMF!

    Like

  406. 411
    Teresa Lewis

    This is amazing!! I would travel all the way from Vermont to come visit your bookstore, cuddle ferrets, drink margaritas and find even more books to read! My favorite bookstores feel more like a friends house than a store. Where you can browse or just hang out for a while and no one asks if you need help every few minutes.

    Like

  407. I so totally want to live at your bookshop!!

    Like

  408. 413
    Molly Neck

    I live in San Antonio and I may have never been happier to say that. I think you should look in the older neighborhoods, like King William, Lavaca, Alta Vista or my awesome neighborhood Beacon Hill. You may have some trouble with zoning in some of those, but the old houses are beautiful. Parking may be a problem. I think the Hemisphere still has some retail space open or perhaps La Villita, then you could take advantage of the parking lots around there. Obviously, the south side of town is a pretty big book desert and is also seeing insane growth right now, as is the entire stretch of Broadway by the Pearl. I am sure you have all the professional staff you could ever want but I do practice business law and know a lot of good real estate brokers and people in the entrepreneurial arena. I am so excited about this! Thank you for continuing to spread love.

    Like

  409. What an amazing idea! I’m so excited for you. I think one important and easily overlooked thing is making the shop easy to navigate — think about how people are going to find the section they’re looking for. Overhead signage, labeled shelves, maps, lines on the floor, personal guide ferrets… you know, the basics.

    Like

  410. 415
    Patricia Taff

    My favorite bookstore was Bay Books in Concord, CA. It closed many years ago and the mothership store in San Ramon, CA closed two years ago. You can see photos of the San Ramon store here, https://bit.ly/2FPrvYd. I don’t know if you are planning on having all new books at your store, but I hope you’ll be able to have at least a small section of used books. Used books were all I could afford many times.

    I’m sure a lot of my suggestions have been said already, but I’ve dreamed of having my own bookstore, planned down to the square inch, for years.

    I love having clean carpets to sit on, comfortable chairs arranged in groups and a coffee table to stack the selection of books you’re perusing. I prefer aged upholstery leather, it smells, feels and looks the best to me. Straight back chairs or just a stool at the end of each aisle (or hidden in between two bookshelves) would be wonderful for antisocial browsers.

    A curated children’s section with tons of floor space to sprawl, a small stage for reading hour, and a few larger chairs to encourage grown-ups to stay close by would be great. A sign saying abandoned children will be sent to Narnia is a good thing too.

    I’m not a fan of having a coffee bar IN the bookstore. I think it encourages people to eat and drink too close to the books. I hate finding new books left lying around in coffee puddles or with sticky pages from donuts. Ideally, open a coffee shop next door where people can take their purchases (and sit with the new friends they’ve met in the bookstore) and fall in love.

    Lastly, I am horrified to have to say this but a closed circuit camera system, monitored closely, is necessary these days. Having encountered a man way too excited about the books on the shelves, I was scarred for years. Also necessary in the children’s section for multiple reasons.

    I vote for rehabbing an old Victorian, ghost optional.

    Like

  411. 416
    Datdamwuf

    I know it’s San Antonio but a fireplace with comfy seating around it would be so cozy cool

    Like

  412. 417
    Meg Miller

    That would be reason alone to go to SA!
    One of my favorite bookstores is Battery Park Book Exchange in Asheville, NC. The only downside to them is that they are explicitly dog-friendly, and I’m explicitly not. But they have an amazing collection and many comfy nooks to curl up in. The knitting group I’m in takes over one of these nooks on a weekly basis. Second fav would be Books for Good, a non-profit bookstore that benefits local charities. Best wishes to you – the world needs more bookstores! http://batteryparkbookexchange.com/
    http://www.booksforgoodinc.com

    Like

  413. Knitters nights when there isn’t a book group going on! He shop cats can help!

    Like

  414. 419
    Janis Turner

    So excited for you! My daughters and I were just having this conversation about how much fun it would be to have a bookstore and what it would look like. We are pro live animals and winding bookcases so that you get lost in the shelves.

    Like

  415. 420
    Deb Teplitz

    Find yourself a commercial real estate person. I have some contacts throughout Texas and would be happy to give you a referral. This is a HUGE step and I want you to get the best advice possible!

    Like

  416. I LOVE my local indie bookstore Ellen Plumbs! The owner Marcia is always so welcoming to everyone who walks through the door, always has great suggestions and hosts great events. I love the monthly open mic night on First Friday. I just love listening to other people perform their work, whether it is the high school or college student that may be attending to get class credit or the Kansas poet laureate it is always inspiring. She is encouraging to local writers and has a special section for local authors.

    Like

  417. 422
    Anonymous

    I think bookstores need cats – real live cats to snuggle with you as you read in the corner. 🙂 (Shhhhh don’t tell Victor!)

    Like

  418. 423
    Melissa D.

    First off, it is amazing that you are chasing this dream! Second of all, your store MUST have a giant metal chicken somewhere in or in front of the store. As far as what I like about small bookstores is the staff actually being passionate about books and ready and willing to make recommendations. I also think it would be cool to have a section that works like Good Reads so that you can see what other customers recommend or get suggestions like “if you liked Book X, then try out Book Y”.

    Like

  419. 424
    Anonymous

    Cats and dogs are perfect but have a tiny little area where people who are allergic can hide from them so the rest of us don’t have to listen to them sneeze. A bar, a fireplace, cozy nooks and overstuffed chairs are great.

    Like

  420. This sounds like my dream bookshop, shame it will be on the wrong continent. 😢

    How about you have little flip signs in the reading/writing areas for “I’m happy to chat” and “please don’t disturb me”?

    For years I’ve dreamt of opening a geeky & board game cafe in my town but am not physically up to it. Then I heard recently that someone is doing it finally. I’m not sure whether to be pleased or jelly. 😕

    Like

  421. One of the nooks will be decorated 100% in taxidermy, right?

    Like

  422. While the bookstore idea sounds great I cringed a bit when I read about adoptable kittens in the bookmobile. If you were serious or semi-serious about that please know that adopting kittens (or any creature) out that way won’t give you time to check out the adopters. You won’t have any idea of the why or if the person actually has a place that accepts them. Please reconsider this part. (I used to work at finding homes for rescued animals – not everyone has a loving heart or a home to match their loving heart and it’s best to keep this in mind when finding homes for critters.) Otherwise, I love a well-stocked, friendly bookstore and would definitely visit yours once it is up and running.

    If I took your statement way too literally, please disgard my comment.

    Like

  423. The only real input I have is my EXTREME EXCITEMENT and I don’t even live in San Antonio. But when you open this store I will pilgrimage there.
    I love when bookstores let you trade in used books for store credit towards other used materials. It motivated me to clean shelves, if I could walk in with a box of books I no longer needed, but walked out with one or two I wanted instead. You get pennies on the dollar trading in, but I preferred taking them to a local business vs Goodwill when I needed to minimize anyway.
    Plus then I shop and ironically end up spending money and happily defeating the purpose, but supporting small business. Everyone wins!

    Like

  424. Lots of chairs nooks tables
    Coffee
    A staff that can help with recommendations
    A kid section off to itself

    Like

  425. My favorite Half Price Books is in South Texas and it is connected to a small coffee shop, Cafe Calypso. Local artists showcase their work and musicians play their songs. I love to go get books and sit and drink coffee or tea and bond with local artists (and I am 1000000% introverted who only peoples for books). I have always wanted to have my own bookstore with this concept, which is why I started a small publishing company to publish books for first-time authors. I want to fill a space with their new and raw stories, the tales they return to when they look back at how far they have grown. So if you create this bookstore, and I hope you do, there’s a chance I will show up with some books for you and never leave. Because books. And I think you are great in all the authentic stories you tell. And in the stories you don’t tell. I’ve got your back. You can absolutely do this.

    Like

  426. The Forum shopping center in Selma (IH-35 at Loop 1604) lost its bookstore when Borders went out of business. There is a lot of new construction in that area now, including a new IKEA. Please come to Northeast San Antonio. There are no bookstores near us anymore and we are a growing area.

    Like

  427. Fantabulous news!!!!! What makes bookstores great, are cats! Cats work a dual purpose. Catch critters you don’t want in a bookstore and are awesome therapy for those when struggling to find books. My worry about ferrets is they will make nests from your book stock.

    Like

  428. This sounds amazing, and you will make it amazing. I think you should have kids events where they get to read books to the ferrets. (My local library does this with dogs.) Also you could do workshops where kids get to write and illustrate their own books and leave them in a section of the bookstore for people to read.

    Like

  429. 434
    Dena Narbaitz

    Definitely the Victorian or non-mall space. I am wondering why Victor does not the Victorian, but I digress. You should also think about incorpoating small dogs with a play area room.

    Like

  430. 435
    Jennifer B

    This is FANTASTIC! I’m sad that I live so far away. You’ve listed all the things your tribe would love and let me tell you, there are a lot of us! Now there will be trips to mecca (aka Jenny’s store). I’m so excited!

    Liked by 1 person

  431. It’s expanded quite a bit over the years, but one of my favorite book stores is The Tattered Cover in Denver. https://www.tatteredcover.com/ and their ‘about us’ is why: ‘Tattered Cover is a large indie bookstore and cafe with the cozy feel and comfort of smaller bookshops, furnished with comfortable sofas and overstuffed chairs and and a world-class newsstand. We sell new and used books, in addition to crisp pre-discounted bargain editions. We are a Denver institution, a community gathering place, and an experience you can’t download. The Tattered Cover has a long history of hosting LIVE author events, averaging over 600 authors, illustrators, and public figures each year.’

    It combines most of the things you mentioned plus ideas from other readers. (Add your own cats, ferrets, otters, etc.) I think it’s a wonderful idea, and I’m very excited for you!

    Like

  432. Also: there’s an empty store front on Broadway across from Fratello’s that I have always thought needed aomething. You might look into it!

    Like

  433. 438
    Patricia A Lee

    My dream when I wanted to open a book store, was to make it more community friendly. As in, offer some space for locals to gather, like gaming groups, community organizations, clubs. crafting groups, or study groups. I remember trying to find somewhere to meet up and having nowhere we could do it except the library which had inconvenient hours.

    Liked by 1 person

  434. You’re going to do for San Antonio what Fixer Upper did for Waco! Put it on the map!!

    Like

  435. Best idea ever! Online book club is a must, please. To me, the best bookstore in the world would have tea and a comfy chair, and staff who actually read the books (not just sell them). If you can make it look like the Hogwarts library, all the better 🙂
    Congratulations!!

    Like

  436. 441
    shamelessshawna

    Dammit already a million comments, you’ll never see mine! Holy shit! Yes a trillion gablion times YES!! Definitely an older building with history and otters , lap kitties, ferrets peeking out of shelves! Comfy chairs and reading spaces, maybe a book loan type thing, for those that can’t afford to buy a book, or a pay it forward fund , so people can choose one book that’s been paid for already. A bar and coffee shop would be cool, but then that’s a whole nother ball of wax, and licensing that may make you stabby. Maybe just a little free coffee or cocoa or sweet tea ? Living in Washington state. I would definitely tune in for the live streams etc. I wish I could post a picture of one of my kitties Hank Meowdy, she definitely approves! Yes Hank is a She, don’t ask it’s a long story haha. Oh ps, you could have baby carriers at the door, for those of us that wasn’t to pack around a ferret!! I’d be totally down for that!

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  437. 442
    Anonymous

    My dream when I was younger and healthy was to open a bookstore in an old, wind-y town in England with a bow window front and cats. And maybe dachshunds. A place where you could hear the bells from the local church….I’m so glad you’re going after your dream! Maybe I’ll actually STOP in San Antonio instead of drive straight thru Texas every summer on our way to our cottage in Michigan and family in the midwest!

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  438. 443
    lookylooky

    A space to rent out for birthday parties (kid or grown up)

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  439. Holy crap! I’d need to fly down from Canada just to go to your amazing bookstore!!

    Like

  440. 445
    Cathy L Evanochko

    Definitely haunted Victorian – I have images of a real life sized version of your doll house. Make it a vacation destination with an attached or close by bed & breakfast – I would come and stay for a week!

    Like

  441. That’s amazing! Congratulations Jenny! (might be slightly jealous, because this has been my dream too)
    However, my perfect book store has to have big comfy arm chairs to sit in and be homey feeling. With preferably a cafe in the corner that serves the most amazing cappuccino.

    Like

  442. Also, have you heard of St. Rita’s Traveling Bookstore? I think you’d like it. Plus, Rita might be a good resource for figuring out the bookmobile.
    http://saintritasbooks.com

    Like

  443. will definitely be roadtripping to san antonio when you’re up and running!! my fave is tattered cover (the wynkoop location) in denver. it’s in a cool old building (i think previously a department store), with gorgeous wood floors, a good coffee shop, lots of seating, lots of used and new, showcasing local authors (discovered stuff there that i can’t find anywhere on the east coast) and a creepy old man mannequin sitting on the stairs reading. so, you know, it has everything. and despite being a big space, it feels warm and cozy.

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  444. 449
    Jennifer Martinelli

    Hi. This is awesome. My favorite bookshop currently isn’t local to me – it’s on the other side of my state, it’s the Montague Book Mill in Montague, Massachusetts. I encourage you to look up their website. What I love about good bookstores are many of the things you’ve already said. Space to read and be left alone. No pressure to hurry up and buy something and leave. I’d LOVE to buy a book and then sit down and read it, I don’t want to steal the content, LEAVE ME ALONE, BARNES & NOBLE. I’d love to be able to sit and drink something and have some peace and quiet. But I don’t need you to install a fancy coffee bar, can’t I just bring a drink in a covered container and promise not to make a mess?? I like no-pressure salespeople and staff. I like people who will help me find things and not judge me. I LOVE THE IDEA OF CHEST-STRAPPED FERRETS.

    Liked by 1 person

  445. 450
    Anonymous

    This is a weird detail, but I feel like a book shop needs a real brass shop keeper bell that rings when someone enters or leaves the store. Accept no electronic substitutes.

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  446. Well, shoot, now I need to move to San Antonio and live in your bookstore among the Baby Bjorn ferrets. Please have chocolate chip scones.

    Liked by 1 person

  447. So much YES!! I am from Michigan so I probably won’t be able to visit, but I love that it will exist and there is always a possibility of seeing this magical place!!

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  448. Far F!#$@&%ing out!!! Three things, live plants lots of greenery a sofa and an espresso machine, you might want to have biscotti. I’m really happy for you, I think it’s a great idea, it fits!

    Like

  449. A rotating magical way to enter the children’s area: A Narnia door, a rabbit hole . . etc

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  450. OMG this makes me wish I still lived in San Antonio!

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  451. I’m coming to San Antonio this year, so could you please have it open. Also coffee. And comfy chairs in corners where I don’t feel like I’m on display while I’m trying to decide which of the many books I’ve fallen in love with I can actually afford to take home.

    Ooooh, and a coloring table. Maybe two, one that is kid friendly and one that is just for adults. Because those littles are kind of cutthroat about the crayons. Just saying.

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  452. 457
    Anonymous

    OMG OMG OMG OMG! Another indie bookstore to add to my bucket list!! SO excited!!

    One of my favs is Wild Rumpus Books in Minneapolis. They have lots of critters, but everyone loves Niel DeGrasse Tyson, the fluffy chicken:

    https://www.wildrumpusbooks.com/meet-animals

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  453. 458
    Michelle R

    Omg this is so awesome!!! Now I’ll totally have a reason to visit San Antonio. The only suggestions I can think of are making the shop & restrooms wheelchair/handicapped accessible. There are sadly too many places that I can’t take my younger two girls that are in wheelchairs because things aren’t accessible. The other would be a Victrola with lots of old 78’s people could play- softly of course. Wishing you lots of luck in this venture! Can’t wait to see it come to fruition.

    Liked by 1 person

  454. Independent bookseller meets the Addams Family meets Cheers meets Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. What’s NOT to love?

    Liked by 1 person

  455. 460
    Kelli McClain

    I miss San Antonio and now will have another reason to go back. I love couches or at least comfortable seats in a bookstore. Makes me want to spend more time in one. If you are thinking along the lines of having coffee/non alcoholic drinks/snacks should get people to live there for a bit. I can’t wait to see it!

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  456. My favorite bookstores have cozy corners or fireplaces and soft loveseats. Always at least one shop cat or borrowed kittens from the local rescue. And the cafe always has yummy things that people with dietary restrictions can consume. (Like oat milk lattes and warm vegan chocolate chip cookies) Knowledgeable staff that leave you alone. Someplace I can go on study dates with my husband rather than boring Starbucks

    I haven’t found this shop but when I do, or when you creat it, I’ll be it’s happiest patron

    Like

  457. Daunt Books in London (Marylebone Road location) is my favorite book store. They organize their travel section by subject, so the guidebooks, history, and fiction on say, France, are all together. They also use great sturdy cloth bags that are very reusable and serve as a “tell” to other interesting bookshop-goers; I have spotted them from New York to Seattle to Palm Springs.
    https://www.dauntbooks.co.uk/

    Like

  458. Not sure if my last comment posted, and that’s fine. The bookstore should have bad taxidermy. It’s a thematic must

    Liked by 1 person

  459. 464
    Savanah Sue Truelove

    Jenny,
    I have been a school librarian for thirty years. It’s probably time for me to retire but I still love people and books too much to stay home. I think I should come work for you! And in lieu of that, how about if I just come over to help set up displays and swap fun stories? I’m free all summer. Plus I’ll work for a margarita.

    Savanah
    XX

    Liked by 1 person

  460. I’ve been to a wonderful bookstore in Chicago that served breakfast and coffees and had a neat little patio area. It was crammed full of new and old books and you could smell & feel the history as you wandered through. It was in an old brownstone. Brings back great memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  461. quietly screaming in my head

    THIS IS WONDERFUL!! Sorry, now I’m screaming in your head. Sweet Rudy the Raccoon I love this SO MUCH. I have never ever wanted to visit Texas until just now and I am asking myself if I could commit to moving there to help you make your vision happen. I have my own power tools 🙂

    What makes a good bookstore:
    -a good coffee bar
    – a cat “zone” with adoptables (because loose cats in the main bookstore is bad for people with allergies and potentially the books.)
    -eclectic decor
    -a secret room!
    -big squishy leather chairs
    -quiet levels of good music
    -plants (like 2 at least)
    -some weird brass urns on shelves that could potentially house trapped spirits and may have been dug up by a ruggedly handsome man before finding a home in the bookstore
    -Oh! Important! A short wooden staircase and banister in the middle/back of the store that leads up to an open platform of more shelves

    Liked by 1 person

  462. Definitely needs lots of cushy chairs! All the bookstores I go to never have enough. And THIS IS SO EXCITING!!

    Like

  463. 468
    Char Vanderweel

    Victor’s great & all but his shopping center idea isn’t… (Sorry Victor).
    With that said, have you ever see any of those Mystery Woman tv movies on the Hallmark channel (mid-2000s but they probably still air)? There was neat old bookstore in those movies. Anyway I love all of ideas for your bookstore! They’re all so good! Even the ferrets, but I’d prefer they be taxidermied (sorry). 🙂

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  464. 469
    Anonymous

    You need to have enough books that will sell to make
    money, but perhaps also some really good quirky
    books that are little known and hard to find. Also, from what I understand, a lot of
    Independent book stores survive on author events
    And online sales. So, maybe someone to do that part of it.

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  465. Blanket forts

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  466. YES! THIS US AWESOME! I have always avoided Texas until this exact moment!
    My favorite bookstore was called Booked For Murder and carried only mysteries. But all kinds of varieties of mysteries. My favorite spot in the store featured gothic horror mysteries and in that section there were all kinds of gargoyles on display and for purchase. Happy ones, goofy ones, spooky ones, cat ones. I got one for my mom as a Mother’s Day gift because I knew she’d never had one and everyone needs a gargoyle.

    Liked by 1 person

  467. Now I’ll have to make a trip to Texas! I would love to do the same thing except here in Indianapolis. I already own a coffee shop/cocktail bar and now that I’ve suggested it to the universe I’m going to have to make it happen. Anyway, all that ramble to say that down the street from my shop is another shop called The cat Cafe where people go to have coffee, read books, and pet cats. I think you’d love it. I can’t wait to experience your bookshop!

    Liked by 1 person

  468. Otter infestation and shop cats are an ABSOLUTE must for any possibly-most-definitely-haunted bookstore. Also though, I agree with Becki in that a Narnia Door (or “Alice in Wonderland” style door) would be fucking magical as shit. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  469. Don’t forget to look for barns for your bookstore! They have those in San Antonio, right? My favorite local used bookstore is Baldwin’s Book Barn http://www.bookbarn.com and it’s full of old dusty, sometimes rare books on wooden shelves in room after room after room and you go up and down lots of stairs and and hallways and find even MORE rooms with books in them. Simply devine. And I think almost no one works there because no one bothers you, unless you work up the courage to find them, hiding behind a stack of books on a desk. And when you DO find them, they are always really, surprisingly helpful. Good luck Jenny!

    Liked by 2 people

  470. Your store needs CATS! Lots and lots of rescue cats! They help with depression, and depressed people (I’m speaking from experience, sadly) LOVE to hide out in book stores. So yeah, cats and books and depressives. Maybe not the bar though. Ok, maybe a wine bar, but no hard stuff, because cats love whiskey, and they’ll want to get drunk, what with all the depressed people hanging around 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    Becky Weaver recently posted Going Home: Part 1.

  471. Coffee. A good bookshop needs a coffee component and a lovely atmosphere that allows you to sit and stay a while. The idea that other writers and book enthusiasts could have a creative space to create and share a mutual love for the written word makes me feel so inspired! Oh also, your book shop needs an inspiration wall. Everyone can contribute. Writers or just anyone can go and read the wall when they feel they need some inspiration ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  472. 477
    Anonymous

    My favorite bookstore was called the Dusty Bookshelf. It was lovely and not too bright. Instead of rows and rows of books, it had delightful nooks, or U shaped shelving, organized by category or interest. There were also cats. And a musty book smell. But I never sneezed in there, so there must have been some kind of magic that kept the dust and cat hair at bay. Last tip; a Baby Bjorn is no good for a ferret. Those suckers would certainly find their way out. Consider a wrap or sling for better ferret management.

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  473. It sounds like you are planning on doing some of this already, but my favorite things about local bookstores are the communities they create. I love a store that has local author events, reading and writing groups, book clubs that don’t just read ‘book club books’ (horror/ science fiction/ humor/ adults who read YA/MG etc). And I think being able to live stream some events from afar or for days when we can’t make it outside sounds like an amazing idea.

    Other musts
    Comfy seats to read the first chapter
    Fun non book gifts (local artists are a plus)
    Free gift wrapping (sometimes I get the books wrapped even if they are just for me)
    Staff picks
    Hand written staff blurbs sprinkled through out the store
    Music that doesn’t play the top 40 from this decade
    Quirky magazines/newspapers

    Liked by 1 person

  474. 479
    Tom Burton

    If you ever get to the Los Angeles area, try to visit the “Diesel” bookstore in Brentwood. I think it’s the type of store you’re talking about and might give you some great ideas!

    Like

  475. I loved Gilpin House that used to be in Alexandria, VA. It was the first floor of a colonial townhouse with exposed brick and a fireplace. It was small and had chairs and love seats in odd corners and in front of the fireplace.

    Like

  476. 481
    Mama Frog

    I love this so much!!!!!! If I didn’t think iI’d end up in traction, I would do backflips!!!!! I can’t wait to come visit your bookstore!!!! Love the idea of soft, comfy chairs, little books and cubbies for when people don’t really want to socialize, but also places where you can meet new friends and chat if you want to. And love the idea of hot beverages. It doesn’t need to be a huge thing like that Seattle based company that rhymes with CarTrucks…just coffees and teas and snacks for sale. Can it be two story so you can have shop cats or shop llamas or something like that, but only people who want to interact with the fuzzy friends would have to. I would love a friendly car to come snuggle in my lap, but some may not. So. Excited. For. You!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  477. Brooks City Base is expanding to retailers and new businesses. The area is still in development so it has a lot of potential. Plus it’s in my neck of the woods!
    https://livebrooks.com/development/

    Like

  478. Lovely! I enjoy personal recommendations (on racks and on request), author readings & signings, book clubs, Reading with a Rover (dogs!) & Paws for Reading (cats!) events, themed events for new releases (mostly for kids). Warm, cozy chairs! My fave (mostly used bookstore) has an old school library paper card for each patron. You sell your books back (approved or vetoed at owner discretion) and credits marked on card, in pencil! Used books are at least 1/2 off – with many $2 racks – and the price of any book can be HALF paid in credit!

    Liked by 1 person

  479. 484
    Stacey Anderson

    Big, comfy chairs to snuggle deep into. And cozy blankets. Fuzzy socks to sell so we can wear them and they will be fresh each time (I hate doing laundry). And raspberry donuts. And surprise ferrets!!!!!! Omgosh and those board things with all of the metal pins in them so you can make the shape of your hand or face or whatever… a really big one of those 😂. And mirror ball chickens that will fit in a small SUV. I’m so excited about this! My sister in law lives near you- when we visit I will be a patron for certain 🙂
    Cubbies to rent? 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  480. You need a library cat!!!!!!! A perfect excuse to add to your brood!

    Liked by 1 person

  481. I don’t live in San Antonio, but I was just there for work and I could not find a bookstore anywhere within walking distance of downtown (Marriott Rivercentre downtown). The area is no doubt $$$ but I would honestly take all 3 planes it took me to get there again to go visit your bookstore! Best of luck!! I manage a small business so sending positive vibes to you to find the right space for your dream! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  482. If you’re going to have furry friends to snuggle with while we browse, may I suggest you work with a local shelter to feature some looking for forever homes? It might be a great way to fulfill 2 dreams – one for your book lovers/one for an animal seeking a home. (and I like cats, but dogs would be a great asset as well).
    Good luck with this … I am so happy you’re living your dream!

    Liked by 1 person

  483. This is just so fantastic. I am so, so, so happy for you! It really does sound like a dream come true. I am just bursting right now!! Obviously, I think you need a bookstore cat, but I think that goes against the rules. Rules are the worst!

    As for ideas, there are so many great things already mentioned in the comments, so mine is of a boring adult nature, only because I write commercial leases for a living. Get a real estate broker to find space and help you negotiate the lease. The landlord pays the broker, so you don’t have to come out of pocket for their commission, and there are SO many crazy weird clauses that they stick in leases these days, you definitely want to have someone who’s working on your side. A broker can help you negotiate free rent, improvements to the space, and even things like out clauses or rights of first refusal on adjoining spaces. Attorneys can be helpful, but if they don’t see commercial leases all day, they don’t really know what to watch out for!

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  484. 489
    Cindy L Howard

    Looks like you have plenty of suggestions here, but I think you are on the right track. What makes a great bookstore is spaces for people to meet and hang out. The Victorian sounds great to me, but you also have to make a profit for all these other things to happen, so it has to be somewhere where you will get the traffic.

    Like

  485. Please consider a location on public transit so if/when I make it there, I don’t have to drive. I’ll be able to stare sideways out a bus window and watch.
    Unless you can make a deal with people who have buggies or donkey carts. Or llama carts. Because those would be even more reason to go.
    How about a separate room at the bookstore for animal cuddling after reading? The dander zone!

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  486. 491
    Andie Vecchione

    If I had a bookstore, it would have comfy old chairs and reading nooks to sit in and browse through books you might buy, a tea bar, a cat or two, and a good selection of bookmarks to buy for new books. I’d also try and sell local artist’s stuff that could go with books, like said bookmarks and misc. Good luck.

    Like

  487. 492
    Anonymous

    Oh I can’t wait!! I’m in San Antonio!! You MUST have a cat or 2. And the shop should not be too fancy and sterile. It’s gotta feel “lived in”. Know what I mean?

    Like

  488. 493
    Kat Torrez

    One of my favorite bookstores had a used section, where you traded in books, FOR books. Like say you trade in 3 kid books, you get one free kid’s book in return from the used section. Trade in more and you could get a new book. I love that, because it gave new life to old books as well as let me find some of the more rare ones that had new covers and such. Once place did it based on the prices of the books, one place did it based on the type of books your brought back. I’m sure you could figure out a way to make it work. I also love the idea of a shop cat, but maybe only in a certain area so people with allergies aren’t turned away…like a special reading area with cat petting privileges? I dunno.

    Like

  489. Totally go for haunted Victorian. Ambience is what bookstores are all about. Cats and ghosts and coffe and wine…

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  490. Def go for haunted and otter infestation. Gothic. Even rococo! It sounds like something from Z Nation =)

    Like

  491. Connect with the organizers of conventions for fans of science fiction, mysteries, etc, in your area and arrange for authors who are appearing at those cons to make a side trip to do a reading/signing at your store. That brings in customers independent stores.

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  492. Everything you wrote about is what I’d want in a bookstore. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE bookstores. They were and are my sanctuary. Have been an avid reader since I was in 4th grade and learned I could be transported because of a great story. I lived at the library too as a kid. I’m excited for you that you want to do this and I want to come to the bookstore so I can hang out. There was a bookstore that had a huge fluffy cat, he had places to nap all over. He’d even come hang out with you while you sat in a chair to look over a book. Comfy chairs, tea & coffee, a little nosh to go with, a place to write, book clubs, I think you have a great start on your list. All I keep thinking is OMG, OMG, OMG I have to go there!! Congratulations!!!

    Like

  493. OMG!!! I literally gasped aloud at my desk! I am so very excited for you to do this. I love bookstores, especially small ones or ones set up to feel small. The smell of books and coffee is heaven to me so even if you don’t have coffee, please have coffee scented candles! And anything to get children excited about books and reading would be wonderful as well. Comfy worn chairs, good lighting – not the horrible fluorescent stuff. I just love everything you mentioned and you have so many wonderful ideas from everyone else as well – a brass bell, a book “pay it forward” system – all of it! I will say this and hope you make it to the bottom of all these comments: if you start to feel overwhelmed, pare it down to the basics, maybe 10 key things you want to start with and then make a plan for how you’d like to build from there. You don’t have to make all the magic happen right away!

    Like

  494. 499
    A fan from Ohio

    Local authors of all genres & media, please? When I travel, i skip the touristy-souvenirs and pick up local artists’ comic books, picture books, and short story collections, primarily (because they’re easy to fit in a suitcase). Local art (for sale?) on the walls is a nice touch too.

    Like

  495. My thoughts? Sheer awesomeness! You definitely need cars and ferrets and Dorothy Barker needs to make special appearances, preferably in some knitted getup. I hope that you’ll consider independent authors, too, because there are many out there who are worthy of shelf space but because they haven’t done something worthy of 10 minutes of Internet notoriety haven’t nabbed a publisher’s eye. Here’s to dreams coming true!

    Like

  496. 501
    Melissa Cook

    THIS. IS. AWESOME!

    voice in my head “ok – tone it down a notch”

    I love bookstores with new and used books.
    I love bookstores with hide-a-way places with comfy seating
    I love bookstores with cats who will sit on my lap in the comfy seating (sorry Victor)
    I love bookstores with knowledgeable staff who can steer me to great authors.

    My local Library had a ‘Sip & Swap’ event last month. It was basically a happy hour and people brought in books to exchange. it was so much fun.

    There was a bookstore in St Louis which was just mysteries and suspense novels. Their tag line was ‘Cops, Spies and Private Eyes’. Sadly it closed but the owner never steered me wrong. I found so many non-mainstream authors through him

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  497. 502
    Anonymous

    In our town there is a store with a separate cat area called the Kitty Cafe where you can sit on a comfy couch and cuddle cats that are up for adoption from our local humane society. It is a win on so many levels. The cafe averages 2 adoptions per week.

    Like

  498. 503
    Adam Hackett

    If you can swing margaritas, that bookstore would be lit!

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  499. This is so exciting! I love bookstores that have resident cats, such as Abraxas books. Good selection of both used and new books. Helpful, friendly service. If you want to serve food, beer, and coffee, Portsmouth Book and Bar does it well. Whether coffee is served there or not, a place to set one’s cups is essential! It can be hard to peruse books whis trying not to still hot liquid everywhere, at least for me!

    Like

  500. Oh yay! I’m so excited for you. Comfy chairs, waterfall (not too loud), cats, fake fireplace, fresh flowers (tho maybe not because of the cats), visitor’s log, nap room with cats, shoe cubbies so we can walk around in our socks, spiral staircase, chalkboard wall……

    Like

  501. 506
    Jami Shofner

    YOU GOT THIS!! I vote haunted Victorian with lots of rooms and big chairs and overstuffed otters. Or overstuffed chairs and big otters. Don’t care. A few cats and some surprise (albeit, quiet) animals should roam around to keep people company. No muzak and it has to smell like a bookstore, but that may happen when you fill it up with new and old books. The smell, I mean, because no muzak happens if you don’t have muzak. And maybe designate one of the parlors (because it’s Victorian) as a craft room with tables and lights and chairs and colored pencils and crayons and paper and crafty books. The craft room should smell like markers and glue, though. And have authors come in and talk to people and read from their books and sign them and other author-y stuff. And also have local stand-up comics come in and do shows sometimes at night so the ghosts can laugh and not get cranky and bug the patrons. Patrons can attend shows, too. OH! and at night, leave an audio book playing so all the books don’t get lonely in the dark, and the ghosts can listen to books because they might like to read but can’t turn pages any more. I don’t know nearly enough about SATX to recommend a place, but I know how to get there from here in Austin.

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  502. Hey! I am from San Antonio, I live here again now after traveling the world. I found your blog years ago a few months after you began posting when a friend reached out to me and told me she found my blog. I was really confused as to how you and your husband have the same conversation mine and I do. It was amazing.

    Anyway, My favorite book store is the BookSmith in San Francisco. They recently sold it, but I strongly suggest you check it out as you start your venture. Independent book store culture is alive and well in SF and SA is ripe for a comeback.

    Why BookSmith was the best and is still damn fucking good:
    1) They curate the best and most unexpected books. some are older titles, most are new, but all are beautiful in some way. They do not cater to cheap coffee table books. you want to just dig in to new topics new genres. seriously, going to learn about their curation process is really a good idea.
    2) the room feels bright approachable and fun. they do a great job in their sister store the bindery –which has a stronger theme.
    3)the mix of products (pins, local art, fun book bags and odd bits) enliven the store with out being boring or not book enough (like barns and noble).
    4) the local flavor is really strong. honestly the best thing about sf was how each book store catered to their neighborhood.
    5)fun events! before they sold it, Booksmith did dramatic readings by local artists of fanfic. each month had a theme from a beloved book and 5-6 stories all read by the same person. to this day little house on the prairie is my favorite, but they did animal house, wurthering heights, all kinds of books.
    6) the window displays each month engaged me immediately. they were fantastic, had a strong theme, but the way they included books in the theme was playful. and books were always the center
    7) amazing community events and readings from people you never heard of and could not stop reading
    8)obsessive focus on diversity and inclusion allowed all of this to work at the high level it worked.

    I think there is another SF book store you should look at too. Borderlands is a community supported genre book store. they nearly went out of business when their community chipped in and donated enough for them to buy a store in SF and rent while it is renovated. that is a huuuuuuuge achievement both in making a community and in terms of funds raised. (I for instance refused to move from a neighborhood i did not like because i wanted to stay within walking distance of booksmith). You should def talk to these stores.

    For san antonio, I think you need a space with room for a cafe or bar if possible. I think a successful book store here will be super well curated, have a mix of fun products and amazing books and become an institution for hanging out. I see a place I can drink a cocktail while browsing the store in the eventing or after brunch. nooks are always preferred by bookstore lovers as they feel intimate. what a place to hear readings from guest lecturers at gemini ink or local poets? local goth artists giving a talk or on display? I don’t think it has to be huge, just well curated and have spaces to feel tucked away. And as always an old victorian preferably with an infestation of haunted otters is preferred. maybe even near first friday.

    I have super strong feelings on this, but then I spent $300-500 on books each month when near book stores. since moving home, my budget has had great relief due to the fact that so few Indie book stores meet my needs here. PS. please read the coroner’s lunch. it is a delight.

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  503. If I lived near you, I’d work in your store for free. I love this idea!
    You should offer beverages, have cozy spaces, and maybe a webcam so those of us who live 800 miles away can be part of the group too.

    Like

  504. If you’re going to feature furry friends for us to snuggle whilst we browse may I suggest you work with a local shelter to help find homes for animals in need? It might be a great way to make dreams come true … for your shoppers and the animals.
    Good luck with this. I’m so happy you’re living your dream!

    Like

  505. 510
    Katherine

    What a fantastic idea! It sounds wonderful. As for the store itself, I agree about having some character. If you ever get up to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, you might want to check out Munro’s Books – it’s often on the list of top three bookstores in the world. Basically, it’s in an old bank, with creaking wood floors, beautiful ceilings with hand-painted banners, classical music, friendly staff and an amazing collection of well-curated books. (link to the website is here: https://www.munrobooks.com/?q=h and no, I don’t own the store or work there. It is just my favourite store ever.) Your vision sounds even better – with the writing space, etc. – although I am not too sure about ferrets. Because…ferrets. Sending you lots of encouragement on your brilliant, wonderful idea. Go go go!!

    Like

  506. 511
    Jennifer MacNeill Traylor

    CATS! A used/rare section especially for art books. The smell of coffee or tea. Comfy chairs. Artworks from local artists for sale. I also like the idea of a free section that people could donate to. There is a cool place in Baltimore called The Book Thing where all the books are donated and free.

    Like

  507. 512
    Kath_ryn (@Katperez316)

    My favorite Bookstore is Books&Books, it’s local a bookstore here in Miami. They have a few locations around the city now but the main/original store is so cozy and inviting. The wooden floors creak softly while you wander around. It’s in an old historic building and it feels like home.
    I am so excited for this, now I need to finally visit Texas!!

    Like

  508. 513
    Anonymous

    Not sure if this has been mentioned but I think if it’s going to be YOUR bookstore, it must have the wonderful “terrible” taxidermy that you love. Plus if you add in real pets it’s creates an exciting game of “real or fake?”

    I also believe cats are a wonderful idea

    Like

  509. I love it!!! The best bookstores to me have a couple of comfy coaches or chairs to sit back in and start diving into a book with a cup of tea. I love my bookstore for the simple little Keurig type machine they offer. $1 a cup. Perfection! So excited for your new venture!!!

    Like

  510. 515
    Marty Nash

    How exciting! You will do an awesome job! Everything you described sounds like a haven for us bookworms. I can’t wait to visit!

    Like

  511. Cool lamps and blotters you allowed to test spelling on.

    Like

  512. OMG YAY!!!!! You are so gonna need more taxidermy for the new store!!!!

    Like

  513. When I was younger we had a bookstore in Sarasota called Main Books. It was in a storefront on Main street and they had ugly mismatched armchairs that they’d collected from second hand stores and about five cats and someone was always making tea. And sometimes the books would end up stacked in piles along the walls. I’m not sure who did it, if it was staff or one of the customers, but someone built a fortress in a corner out of books.

    There was a fire, the cats were all okay but the books were not. The building had to be gutted and there’s an interior decorator there now. I miss my bookstore. I hope you can give something just as beautiful to San Antonio. Tell Victor that cats are absolutely vital to bookstores.

    Like

  514. 519
    Anonymous

    Key to a good bookstore – comfy chairs and dark (ish) quiet corners

    Like

  515. OMG so exciting! I had to stop reading the great comments but know that I agree with all the fantastic suggestions. My worry wart nature is surfacing though and I’m afraid it will be so popular that it becomes too much for you and you walk away! ☹️
    So please have an escape plan before starting this incredible adventure…we need you too much 💜.
    Rather than tell you about my fave bookstore in Chicago that closed I’ll refer you to my current fave in Eugene OR:
    Tsunami Books. One thing I didn’t see mentioned is being some type of community center. I think this happens naturally but you need to allow space for it in planning. Tsunami even has small local musical groups perform in their space.
    GOOD LUCK JENNY!

    Like

  516. I am so, SO spoiled to live about 15 minutes away from Powell’s Bookstore. What makes a good bookstore for me is couple of things coming together:

    1) Good coffee/tea and comfortable chairs. Chances are when I buy a book, I usually want to sit down and read at least a bit of it right there — I tend to go book-shopping with friends and I usually finish before they do so I’m waiting while they’re finishing up. It makes book shopping as a social event SO much easier and more comfortable.

    2) Author talks / readings. I feel like they’re the beating of the heart of a bookstore, and I’ve discovered a ton of authors I’d have never met by stumbling onto one.

    3) Quiet ambiance. Loud, echo-y places are uncomfortable and I just want to get out quickly. Sound dampening can work wonders in making a place more welcoming and make me want to linger.

    4) This might be a harder / less intuitive one, but special days or times that are “quiet times” for people who get over stimulated. Lights turned down a bit, music off, and the employees giving more space for those on the spectrum where going out can be very overwhelming.

    Like

  517. 522
    Anonymous

    This is a fabulous idea! Yes to book store cats/dogs/ferrets….any non-bity squishy pet. Big fat comfy chairs and a full bar (or whatever) and chocolate cookies (or whatever). I’m in Austin and I’ll drive to SA to see this and support this. I prefer a haunted Victorian mansion but whatever you need to do. Could we also have a haunted Victorian mansion we can build and add on to while visiting there? I am so envious of the one in your home and also the great pirate ship chandelier-can we get one for the bookstore…or more than one? I LOVE THIS!

    Like

  518. My favourite bookstores remind me a lot of libraries – places to hang out, learn crafts (maybe), play games or puzzles, places to sit and read a chapter or two.

    And kid spaces that aren’t dedicated to ebooks and toys. There’s lots to be learned with books other than stories and reading (ie: respecting property)

    Like

  519. I worked in a offshoot used bookstore that had chain connections (it’s complicated to explain here). What worked: STRONG customer service (recognize the regulars, pay attention to what they’re reading, keeping it offbeat – sorry, Victor, it does work; big-time store organization (labels are just the start); offer some kind of repeat customer discount, appreciate the teachers/educators who come in). What didn’t work: lack of management (if you don’t know how to manage, hire someone who does); minimal staff (our place lacked a lot of capital, so the owners reacted by not hiring staff – never skimp in this area); rentable room space; certain types of rewards/exchange programs; not keeping track of inventory; not researching the store’s location before opening; clean/working bathrooms; and not embracing the online-selling world as a side money-making gig. I absolutely loved working in this bookstore, despite its many problems, and I have never been as happy in a job. I wish the same for you! And I mean it – reach out if you have more questions. I’m more than happy to share additional info with you, so email away.

    Like

  520. Your ideas all sound great, I probably won’t drink a margarita. I would buy a glass of wine and would really support complementary coffe.

    Wild Rumous bookstore in Minneapolis is amazing and has animals (cats, chickens) wondering around, ferrets, birds in cages and a fish tank in the bathroom mirror and I love that place!

    Like

  521. Will it be call The Bookess? 😉

    Like

  522. 527
    Anonymous

    Please come to Dallas and took a look at two fantastic small independent bookshops–Wild Detectives in Bishop Arts, and Deep Vellum in Deep Ellum.

    Like

  523. 528
    Christineleigh13

    Perhaps a non-judgy spot for all us new readers who have childhood trauma from reading horribly boring books in school. At 25, I have only take up reading this year and I am through 8 books already. My unemployment may have contributed to my new found reading abilities, but it took me a while to figure out what my ‘type’ was. Apparently, sailor-mouth, non-fictional books which help me feel less alone with my anxiety was it. Perhaps you could have a selection of books which would help us nervous readers find what is meant for our reader brains. From experience, standing in a library or a huge bookstore is overwhelming even with all my breathing techniques – it usually results in flatulence. I usually exit with nothing, or a book on Canadian history which I never open. Help us!

    Like

  524. 529
    Anonymous

    This. This would get me out of the house. I would move to San Antonio in order to visit the store again and again. It sounds like marvelous magical bookstore. In fact, that would be a pretty cool name for your store.

    Like

  525. For location, consider the usage pattern. People who happen to be walking by? Just coming from something? On their way to something? Will the store be a destination, visited only or mostly by people who have heard tell of its awesomeness?

    Also neighbors matter. If you’re next door to a party store, you’ll be a children’s bookstore.

    Like

  526. Yes!!! My favourite ideas from the comments:
    1) People know they can sit and read for a while, in a cozy hidden spot! Places for writers too.
    2) a seperate section for book trade or discounted traded books
    3) COFFEE
    4) decorated with your taxidermied animals or dollhouses etc., make it unique to you!
    .
    I will now have a reason to visit san antonio! Excited for ya!

    Like

  527. If you have a chance check out Magic City Books in Tulsa. It’s great. Has a great board of directors. Does all sorts of events at the space and in community. Could be a good layout for yours. Good luck!

    Like

  528. 533
    tehtimmah1

    bookstores need a cat. A fireplace is also nice, but not 100% needed. Also because this is you, and your bookstore we are talking about, a display area for oddities, and interesting things people give you. Again, knowing you, myself, and some of the mental health issues we both deal with. As much as dim and cozy might sound appealing. Lots of sunlight might work better.

    Like

  529. At the bookstore here in Katy (Texas) they have staff picks that they change every so often. Each staff member’s name is on a card and underneath is a stack of books they love. It is great because you can see their style through their selection and if they chose a book you read and enjoyed, you probably will like the other books they suggest.

    Like

  530. 535
    kathrynjb

    Name for the new bookstore: It’s a bookstore, Motherfucker.

    Like

  531. Best bookshop by far is Chicken & Frog in Brentwood, Essex, UK. It’s for kids mainly, but it’s everything a bookshop should be and the owners are awesome.

    Like

  532. Oooh, this is awesome!! That is basically my dream job. I’m envious. That might actually get me to go to Texas.

    Some of the best book stores I’ve been in (and I’ve been in a LOT) have loads of squashy chairs so you can plop down and thumb through books to see if you want to buy them. They ALWAYS have cats (so there, Victor). They are warm but not too warm. Comfy-warm. They have little nooks where the esoteric subjects are hidden away. They have lovely ladies and men who know JUST what book you’re looking for and can recommend ones that you didn’t know you were looking for. They have stacks of books waiting to be shelved and piles of inviting tomes on tables around the shop. They have coffee and tea and lovely sweet treats. They host reading groups and knitting groups and have trivia once a week. One of my favorites is called The Montague Book Mill (Books you don’t need in a place you can’t find) and it’s heavenly. Although I don’t think they have a cat.

    Like

  533. 538
    Stephen Harding

    Please come to Dallas and visit two fantastic small independent bookshops that I think are along the lines of what you hope to create: Wild Detectives in Bishop Arts and Deep Vellum in Deep Ellum. Both have curated collections, and both have a wide range of events and activities.

    Like

  534. I am flying to San Antonio for the grand opening just so you know! I am so excited! AHHHH!!!! I would love to see you have it in a haunted Victorian mansion but I realize that may not be practical. I will say, I don’t love ferrets, cats yes – ferrets not so much.

    Like

  535. Ok. You may get this comment more than once because something glitched. Anyway, I worked in a offshoot used bookstore that had chain connections (it’s complicated to explain here). What worked: STRONG customer service (recognize the regulars, pay attention to what they’re reading, keeping it offbeat – sorry, Victor, it does work; big-time store organization (labels are just the start); offer some kind of repeat customer discount, appreciate the teachers/educators who come in). What didn’t work: lack of management (if you don’t know how to manage, hire someone who does); minimal staff (our place lacked a lot of capital, so the owners reacted by not hiring staff – never skimp in this area); rentable room space; certain types of rewards/exchange programs; not keeping track of inventory; not researching the store’s location before opening; clean/working bathrooms; and not embracing the online-selling world as a side money-making gig. Be careful with accepting used trade-ins – that can be extremely complicated (we did it, so I should know). I absolutely loved working in this bookstore, despite its many problems, and I have never been as happy in a job. I wish the same for you! And I mean it – reach out if you have more questions. I’m more than happy to share additional info with you, so email away.

    Like

  536. 541
    Zack Lawson

    One thing that I always look for in a bookstore are employees who read. I’ve gone to several bookstores and tried to talk about books and just get a “I only work here” kind of look. Livestream events would be so amazing! I always love seeing author events at bookstores and have an autograph bucket list of authors. I will gladly order books from there, I live in IA so it’s a bit of a road trip but I’ll support it in anyway I can.

    Like

  537. Good coffee. Quiet spaces with lots of comfy chairs. An eclectic book selection. Cats are totally fine IMHO. I will come down just to visit this place.

    Like

  538. 543
    Anonymous

    Looks like San Antonio is about to get a whole lot more international tourism! I would totally go just to visit your bookstore (I’m in Australia so loving the idea of the web component of your store!). For me, the best bookstores are the ones that surprise me with the books available – not just your run of the mill chain store set of popular books and ‘for dummies’ non-fiction section. There was a place I stumbled into down here where every book was something I hadn’t seen/read before and I was in heaven!

    Like

  539. LEGO table- not a train table. There are never enough trains and kids will show up so we have to accept that and that we can’t put our kids in cages. (Not saying we would! I love all four of mine- but you know, we want to hang out in peace- so LEGO in bulk from eBay)
    And a satellite location in New Zealand because I love you and your people. 😁

    Like

  540. Love this! Must have for book shops: couches, cats, lamps, and interesting art!

    Like

  541. 546
    Anonymous

    Congratulations. I’m less surprised and dazzled than I am “Well, of course this is the next thing.” I suggest a mall with immaculate turbo-good plumbing and parking for the crowds. Also that you do like Apple and grind the landlord into nutmeg over the price of the rent as you will bring in business and they know it. The “vintage” comes in with the big, overstuffed arm chair that Neil Gaiman will need to sit his Gandalf-looking self into to read from his latest books. PS pls check out his 90-minute guest spot on the Tim Ferris Show podcast as he talks about “Good Omens” and it’s fantastic.
    The real-estate website I love to look at is Loopnet and this place on Broadway looks appealing https://www.loopnet.com/for-sale/3/?sk=f64a90f762bd09710859386a0370d147&bb=5397y-muuJrsmj57iC
    You will need a wall space for James Garfield and it’s time for me to write to you again about the merch store for the Miracle b/c now you can support one. Have a look at the fabric samples I sent you awhile back.
    I’m supporting auditions for store kittehs! Though Hunter is not going to like his human coming home smelling like strange.

    Like

  542. Wow! I am so excited for you! I’ve always wanted to the very same thing! ❤️

    Like

  543. Yes! YES, YES, YES, YES, YES!!!!!

    [Have been reading you silently for ages, have been cheering you on silently for ages, I needed to scream this out loud now though. ‘A good bookshop is just a genteel black hole that knows how to read.’ – Terry Pratchett]

    Like

  544. I just swooned and wished for the first time in my life that I lived in Texas. All your visions sound wonderful and doable and I can not wait to see them come to fruition. xo

    Like

  545. Omg yes!! This sounds so amazing and you are going to be amazing doing it!!

    Like

  546. 551
    Jen Alluisi

    I live absolutely nowhere near San Antonio and have only ever been in that city one time in my life but let me throw all my weight behind the rambling Victorian with cozy chairs – friendly ghost a bonus, though not a requirement for me. The children’s library where I grew up was essentially that (with the old clawfoot bathtub stuffed full of stuffed animals to lounge on/with as you read picture books), and it was the BEST library I have ever been in. I actually cried real tears, as an adult not living in my hometown anymore, when they added on to the “adult” library and moved all the kids and YA books over there. The old house is still standing and is a little tea room now, which is lovely, but not full of books. And I know you’re talking about a bookshop and not a library but that’s like 1 degree of separation honestly.

    Like

  547. Wonderful! Have you read Jenny Colgan’s Bookshop on the Corner. Librarian goes to Scotland with a bookmobile in a van, changing the lives of everyone around. It could be research!

    Like

  548. 553
    Anonymous

    Amendment to #477
    http://www.thedustybookshelf.com/home
    A modest website to be sure, but full of ideas!

    Like

  549. 554
    Anonymous

    If Larry McMurtry can run a bookstore, so can you!!! This sounds AWESOME! Fantastic idea. And at least one shop cat, please!

    Like

  550. 555
    Anonymous

    It will need a giant Rory standee for photo ops please😃

    Like

  551. 556
    Anonymous

    Why on earth would anyone that doesn’t want to snuggle with a ferret be allowed anywhere NEAR this magical place?!?!?

    Like

  552. Location location location! Nice atmosphere, parking nearby, food nearby, lots of inducements in the area for people to be walking around and stopping in. Look at Books books in Coconut Grove Fl (written up in the NY Times last week) for a good example. I liked that store.

    Like

  553. Wonderful! So glad you are going for it. My favorite bookstore has a plush carpet throughout and is therefore very quiet even if an activity is going on in a group space. In Denver, where I live, we have a coffee house called Denver Cat Company that lets adoptable kitties roam the shop. It makes for fun window shopping. I’m unfortunately mostly allergic to kitties so I can only pop in for a sec and maybe pet them if I immediately wash my hands right after.

    Coloradans love their 4-legged friends and in addition to more than 100 certified therapy dogs, placed their first therapy cat in service at the airport last year. https://people.com/pets/therapy-cat-denver-airport/

    Create what you want and they will come. Best wishes but you won’t need them!

    Like

  554. 559
    SweetArlene

    What a great idea! My favorite bookstore is Square Books in Oxford, MS. It’s old, has wooden creaky floors, lots of ephemera along with great books, a veranda, and a tiny coffee bar. You can sit outside and watch the work go by or you can grab a comfy chair and just be. Good luck to you!!

    Like

  555. 560
    Wendy Greer

    So excited for you to open your dream bookstore! And I must say that I would like Victor’s vision, but I would practically live at your vision! You go girl. We’ll all support you 100%. This is awesome!

    Like

  556. I vote for lots of cushy chairs. As someone who can’t sit on the floor (I could, but would never be able to get back up again), lots of cushy chairs would be lovely!
    And if Victor is worried people don’t want to be around animals, perhaps have the place divided into place for those who don’t like being human. (meaning they don’t want to snuggle kittens) And to those who are human.
    What ya reckon?

    Like

  557. Has to have an independent, affordable coffee shop with comfortable chairs and tables bigger than a dinner plate.

    Like

  558. Will the cats/ferrets/otters be a part of the emotional support animal corner or in addition to the emotional animal support corner? I love it all! PS Don’t listen to Victor, this has to be all you!!! Love you Victor, ….all you Jenny!

    Like

  559. This is so exciting!!! I love indie bookstores. I live in Miami and my favorite is Books and Books. There is always so much going on. I especially love all the authors that do talks/signings and the themed dinners put together monthly by a local chef. I see your shop in a cool, old house with lots of your personal touches. Can’t wait to visit!!

    Like

  560. That is the most fun thing ever. I’m so excited for you! Texas, here we come! 😀

    Like

  561. This is so exciting! Please consider opening it in Boerne instead if San Antonio. We desperately need a bookstore like you described!! Pretty please!

    Like

  562. I’m crying. Literally crying – tears of happiness and excitement and fear all for you. The happy, excited tears are pretty straight forward. The fear? Well kind of odd I know but as someone who has recently made a huge ass change in my life to follow a dream I know it’s scary as all get out but soooooo worth it! You will make a phenomenal bookstore owner and host! I hope you enjoy every scary second and pat yourself on the back as much as you can because you deserve it! xoxoxo
    -sidenote: I’ve only been to San Antonio once and my god I loved it! Now I have even more reason to come visit again. Looking forward to hearing all about the progress you guys make 🙂

    Like

  563. Congrats on being brave & badass! My suggestion is to have staff wear something that says “If you need my help, please ask or wave…or make some weird, awkward signal for which you will not be judged. If not, I will leave you the hell alone. Enjoy the lovely books!” Or you know, something similar. Best of luck to you!

    Like

  564. That would be the most awesome bookstore ever. I agree with you about the space. It needs to be old and full of books and crannies. There definitely needs to be food, I think high tea with tea and scones and clotted cream. And a window full of puppies and kittens that you can snuggle with while you’re shopping and reading and eating. I’m so excited to see how this unfolds!

    Like

  565. Yesss!! I love you! My favorite bookstores are used bookstores (I almost never buy books new) have cats, and a coffee shop/ bakery. Can you have cats and a coffee shop/ bakery?

    Like

  566. 571
    Diana Terrill Clark

    I now have a reason to go back and visit San Antonio! ❤ I’m a writer, and SUCH a reader. I would LOVE this book store. ❤ Can there be coffee? And chocolate? And on hard days, whiskey? Cats are a plus! Ferrets too! But maybe a cat-free room for people with allergies? I love you to bits!

    Like

  567. Cats yes, ferrets no.

    Because it’s you, I think there needs to be little vignettes behind the books in places. Like your little house, but on the back of shelves. People would spend all day touching the books. But maybe they’d see something they aren’t expecting.

    Like

  568. CAN I MOVE THERE AND WORK FOR YOU???

    Like

  569. 574
    Anonymous

    My favorite bookstore is Left Bank Books in St. Louis. It has a resident cat, strong sections for LGBT, feminist and other hard to find books. Your description of your ideal store makes me want to move to San Antionio and work there! My suggestion is to have local writers do readings and book signings, not just well known authors or big sellers. Congratulations on working toward manifesting your dream.

    Like

  570. 575
    Samantha Logan

    Personally caffeine and big comfy chairs are my favorite in any bookstore, but also the most interesting time I had shopping in a bookstore was a Barnes and Noble that had a liquor license! My girlfriend and I sipped wine and perused the shelves and had an amazing experience. We all know any bookstore you create will be phenomenal and I can’t wait for it to open so I can make my pilgrimage to see it!

    Like

  571. 576
    Anonymous

    I am THRILLED! My only suggestion is to be closer on the north side because I don’t want to drive that far into SA… Or, bring that weirdness to the Hill Country! We need it!

    Like

  572. Congrats! Food, furry fun, fiction, non-fiction…

    Like

  573. My favorite bookstore is Book People in Austin. The elements of a bookstore that I appreciate are 1) employees who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about books who are also friendly and not intimidating to talk to, 2) plenty of spaces to sit within the stacks while browsing, 3) a cafe with tables and plugs (bc my ancient laptop can’t hold a charge), 4) coffee, pastries and breakfast tacos for purchase all day long, and 5) a regular rotation of book-related quirky things – book recommendations, events, gifts, etc.

    Like

  574. Margarita bar? I’m in!

    Maybe have at least one of those cool Sputnik-style drop down type ceiling lights, too.

    Like

  575. 580
    Anonymous

    I love bookstores that have overstuffed,comfy, chairs where you can put your feet up, sip yummy drinks, and read your book in peace. And are free of body odor.

    Like

  576. This is such exciting news! Please consider opening it in Boerne rather than San Antonio. We desperately need a bookstore like yours! Pretty, pretty please!!

    Like

  577. I can’t think of a place, but please make it towards the North side of town (IH10 corridor, IH10/1604….I dunno….somewhere between 281 to the east and 151 to the west. Oh, and outside 410. (Now I’m gonna go scouting for places!)

    Like

  578. 583
    Anonymous

    Things I love in small bookstores:
    1. a place for local musicians to try out their material (maybe even a store piano for anybody to play).
    2. Evenings with some local journalists to talk about a topic of the day/week/month
    3. At least one big comfy chair
    4. Spots for the kids to read
    5 Good social media presence with a good events calendar
    5. Definitely at least one good ghost (or at least a mediocre one with personality)
    6. Squeaky floors
    7. Dominant smell of books
    8. Employees who love to read

    Like

  579. 584
    christyfollis

    I’m so excited for you!! Yippie Skippie!!
    So, my favorite bookstore is The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ…what you’re dreaming of doing, sounds kinda like them…..but yours sounds more intimate & personal! Author events & book signings, etc! I’ve seen Diana Gabaldon a couple of times there, years ago!

    I LOVE your idea of a margarita bar and petting critters!
    Best of Luck!!

    Like

  580. 585
    Juliet Holden

    “Strap-On Chest Ferrets” is now the name of my new indie folk/goth band. Thank you.

    ALSO, bookstores of the type you describe are what will save us all. Bring what your gut tells you, and this will be a venture that will feed many souls, whether in a strip mall or in a spooky, stately relic of a home. Good for you!

    Like

  581. I love the old Victorian with everything that makes you you… the people that will love and flock this joint will not be the ones in a mall in the part of town! Make it unique and undeniably you! Fill it with creepy cool and scary dolls and taxidermy… but I will say coffe and baked goods would be amazing adds.

    Like

  582. 587
    Anonymous

    Definitely otters and ghosts.

    Like

  583. All of my favorite book stores have at least some ability to sell books back or trade them in – I love the idea of recycling but also it makes books more affordable for people. I also love when they have old mugs to use or BYOM and reusable bags!
    One my favorites has a paperback section that is curated completely by people bringing stuff in to sell for 75% of cover price store credit.
    Also please have lots of science books and maybe a website so those of us who are far can buy things?!

    Best of luck – you will crush it.
    Xoxo.
    PS I loathe ferrets. Sorry 😦

    Like

  584. hmm. Not from TX, so not sure how this would work for you, but I love reading outside. So a sidewalk cafe vibe or a courtyard with nooks to read and listen to birds and clink icy drinks.

    Like

  585. Jenny — Of course, I think it is a brilliant idea! That’s because I opened my own bookstore 22 years ago and I’m still running it today! I had a long-term career (25 yrs) in corporate America before this but retired and went to work for myself. I moved 1200+ miles to a small town and I’ve never looked back.
    Yes, develop a sound business plan, be prepared to change it, remember it’s a huge commitment every single day…if you can, find that old house…I moved my business after 6 years in a strip mall and moved the whole thing with the help of my customers, into a 100-yr old house. All the rooms are filled with books and until recently, a resident cat (no ferrets). I’m still loving and living my dream and never look at it as “going to work” because I’m surrounded by books and friends and neighbors every day.
    Victor may not like my encouragement but you only have this moment to make a difference for yourself and others….although your books do just that each and every time someone in need opens the cover.

    Like

  586. 591
    AnnieBananie

    Wow!!! How about some nice, quiet, instrumental, maybe classical, music playing softly in the background?

    Like

  587. Ohhhh, I haven’t been to SA in decades. But with a Blogess bookshop? I’m so there! You’ll never get any writing done – you’ll be tripping over us groupies as well as fending off your animals. A new series for Instagram: writing with cats & groupies.

    Cushy chairs with footrests. Coffees and teas. Hushed atmosphere. Tables to spread out on. Nooks. Crannies. Ferrets. Cats. Dogs. Oh, maybe a shelter-cat affiliation, so if a kitty naps on a reader’s lap, the reader would be tempted to adopt said kitty?

    Good parking. Close to charming hotel so we out-of-towners can walk from charming hotel to fabulous bookstore!

    Like

  588. 593
    Annalee H

    I like the idea of using an old Victorian, because the ONE suggestion I had as I was reading your post was: creaky floors. Odd, yes, but it was an endearing feature of The Book Barn, which is where I got to pick out a new book if I got good grades. (it was not in a barn, just an older building)

    Like

  589. Sounds great! Definitely like the comfy chairs, shop cats, margaritas, and those handwritten cards.

    Like

  590. 595
    Victoria Langley

    I’m not local, but I will absolutely come visit! It is so hard to write our dreams down or to say them out loud. I’m so excited you told us so that we can support you!

    Like

  591. This place in Minneapolis has animals and cool stuff
    https://www.wildrumpusbooks.com/

    Like

  592. Used books, used books, used books! It’s one of the reasons I love Powell’s so much. If it’s something I know for sure I want to read, I won’t hesitate to buy new, but if I’m just browsing and not sure something is really for me, having a used copy for $10 instead of a new for $16 usually seals the deal.

    Like

  593. Oh yes, a wonderful idea. Now, do either of you know how to operate a business?

    Like

  594. I love the idea of the old Victorian. With comfy chairs, lap cats, ferrets in chest carriers, and no judgement if you just need a quiet corner to read and drink coffee.

    Like

  595. I am so excited for you. I would totally love to do that too but live in a poor location for that. I always thought a small, intimate shop would be ideal. With shelves of interesting books, with a checkout counter that melds with the decor, and a comfortable set of chairs and couches that invite people to sit and linger…and just maybe have one of those margaritas.

    Like

  596. 601
    Kristin L

    Enough light in the stacks that older eyes can see the print, a few comfy chairs that invite you to stay a little while, and, more than anything else, employees who are themselves passionate readers. If they don’t love books, they can’t really keep me coming back. Of course, I’m also counting on a steady stream of “creative decorations” that your amazingly creative eye spots at garage sales and 2nd hand shops. (Oh – As much as I love them, I’m terribly allergic to cats, but since I’ll be visiting online, that’s not an issue for me.)

    Like

  597. 602
    Arthemise

    I would definitely drive to San Antonio to visit.

    Like

  598. Yes, old house. Creaky wooden floors. Used books, too. Coffee cups from random people and places. A reading nook with pillows. Yes, bookmobile. Yes, raspberry donuts. An introverts’ reading nook with heavy velvet drapes that close. A mural that is wonderful in some way. (There was a shop called Enchanted Cedar in Lorena, TX that served organic drinking chocolate (and also drinks that tasted like dirt and were good for you—please don’t do that). And it was painted joyful colors inside and had a beautiful mural. A sea turtle if I remember correctly. And your place should smell bookly. Like old library books, my grandpa’s basement, and sandalwood. And it should have shelves in improbable places.
    Can’t wait to visit. Not an April prank?
    Cheers! A-C

    Like

  599. 604
    Tinkersdamn

    I don’t suppose the bookstore in Harry Potter really counts, does it? Although my hometown DID used to have a bookshop that had books above the doorways and those awesome library ladders. I’ve worked in a few small ones, and I know it’s really hard to turn a profit. BUT I wonder if there’s a way of having a sort of cover charge, that’s redeemable against any purchase. This is going to sound stupid, but bear with me- I live overseas, and the gas stations along the highway all have pay toilets. But you get a little coupon for the station, for .50 off any purchase, and you can save them up/combine them. I know the idea is to encourage people to linger, but I’d use the hell out of a place that put my cover charge towards a book. Or margarita.

    Like

  600. 605
    Billie Bartle

    I absolutely love all of your ideas! Especially live-streaming events since I live in a different state. My favorite book store has new and used and has comfortable sitting areas so you can browse all you want – I would definitely hang all day if there was a margarita bar, cats and ferrets! Best of luck to you on this adventure!!

    Like

  601. My favorite bookstore is a gem in a basement of a building near Colonial Williamsburg. Here is the website:
    https://www.mermaidbookswilliamsburg.com/

    Like

  602. 607
    The Other Jenny

    This makes me so happy….and I dont live anywhere near you. But it might warrant a road trip when the happy cat/ferret/donut bookstore comes to fruition.. because it will. I am happy for you and proud of you and cant wait to see this magical store. I always lean towards the odd, unique, or even haunted when it comes to shops but I am sure it will be fantastic no matter the location!

    Like

  603. 608
    Anonymous

    Congratulations! What a great idea! Also, you’ll need lots and lots of comfy chairs! I picture this like a Mercantile/Pioneer Woman deal but way better and more avant-garde 🙂

    Like

  604. Oh, and another suggestion – somewhere near the colleges around town will probably get you better traffic. (UTSA, SAC, etc). But make it UTSA because it’s closer! 🙂

    Like

  605. A Giant Chalkboard in the window so you can write your important questions/thoughts to the community. For instance “All Strap On Chest Ferrets Must Be Immunized” Or “Don’t be so hard on yourself. Moby Dick was all about sperm and making robes out of whale penises and it is considered a classic.” Or “When in doubt, Pretend You’re Good At It.”

    Like

  606. 611
    Anonymous

    You had me at raspberry donuts.

    Like

  607. 612
    Danielle Beckner

    I grew up in New England. Interesting bookstores are a thing there. Ones that stick out are a used book store in Boston that had at least one dog and at least one cat. It had old victorian furniture. You had the feeling that the animals actually ran the shop. There was also a book shop in Newport RI where the back wall had a floor to ceiling bird cage full of small birds. My kiddos would like to add bookstores that have kid spaces, Treehouse book shop in the UK has a treehouse and Walden Pond in Oakland CA has a kid space that is difficult for adults to access but kids LOVE. Did I write too much? Sorry. I really like books.

    Like

  608. 613
    TheBlooferLady

    I only visit San Antonio twice a year for conferences, but I will definitely be making a visit during those trips!

    Great bookstore things: snacks, comfy chairs, if you’re making a place for people to hang out and eat, used boardgames to play while you’re there.

    Like

  609. 614
    Katy Owens

    I didn’t know I needed this in my life until you said it. I will be there with bells on! I’ve never been to San Antonio but I think it may be time for a visit… hell maybe I need to move. I hate being cold. Missouri weather sucks.

    Anyway, great idea. I’m sold!!!

    Like

  610. 615
    Anonymous

    I am in CT for school, and we have a book store here called “The Book Barn.” The main building is my favorite. It’s two floors of books, and they have a little pamphlet that introduces the CATS! They have six cats I believe, who wonder the property, ( it’s a big-ish area, they have a few buildings that are different genre’s of books in each building. They also have goats, but I digress) snooze in the nooks throughout the store (there are cushions/chairs/recliners that the cats claim” and interact with the people. I personally love the idea of having animals in the shop, and totally support it. I’d love to visit one day!

    Like

  611. For me, definitely cozy stuff. all the cozy! I’m a big fan of shelves that are super cluttered with different size books, where the shelves may or may not match, and there are nooks in between in hidden spots to sit and read a couple pages… Also, cats. The local bookstore to me (RIP) used to have cats sunning themselves in the window, and even when I couldn’t visit, they were a bright spot in my day!

    Like

  612. 617
    Chuck Stevens

    My favorite bookstores are the ones that are laid out like a maze, so I can get lost.

    Like

  613. Main Street Books in Davidson NC is the absolute best, because of the wonderful staff, the amazing books they stock, the fun events they host, and their beautiful connections to the community.
    You should totally get a copy of Bibliophile by Jane Mount—there are dozens of small independent local bookstores profiled and illustrated (plus hundreds of books and genres and char eaters, it is seriously the best research/inspiration source for this).

    Like

  614. 619
    Elise Barker

    This is AMAZING NEWS!!! I live in the San Antonio area and I can tell you we do not have any kind of bookstore in the Universal City/Schertz/Selma area! I know there is going to be a lot of space near the new IKEA but that will definitely not be Victorian 😂 Just a thought about the area though!!!

    Like

  615. A bookstore with people who won’t talk to you unless you really want them to is perfect! I’ll have to stick to the online version, when it happens, since I’m allergic to cats. Not allergic to ferrets so that’s still possible.

    Like

  616. I love every aspect of it. Libraries and independently own bookstores have been my home away from home since I was little. Even though I live in California, I will find a way to visit. I wish this was 2 years ago when I was in San Antonio for a conference.
    My favorite independent bookstore was “Mystery and Imagination”. It’s owners had to close the brick-n-mortar down 😦 because of rent increases but are still online and at book shows.

    Like

  617. Awesome!!! My favorite bookstore in Santa Barbara, The Earthling , RIP, had a centrally located fireplace, surrounded by comfy, armchairs and sofas, a self-service coffee/tea/hot chocolate bar, cookies, with a tip jar for the coffee, a resident dog, and free community movie nights of vintage obscure films. There would be frequent poetry readings, and a story time area for little kids. Should there be a Little Library for exchanging older books? There would be rotating art exhibitions for local artists. One of my favorite things to do in a real bookstore is peruse the greeting card area, for artist made cards , weird/funny/kooky cards, in other words, cards that are not made for mass consumption. Calendars for good causes: for instance, sexy firemen of San Antonio….You’re going to kill it!!!

    Like

  618. 623
    Aussie Noeline

    I love a good bookstore that has relaxed atmosphere to browse and sit and read and wander the selections and read some more. All this takes time so I would suggest … toilets.
    I can feel a trip to USA coming on – when my flight lands from almost 30 hours flying I want the airport to have signage pointing me in the right direction!
    Good luck with your venture, Jenny & Victor. Your shop will be amazing.
    PS. Please don’t put this wonderful store into a mall that’s cold and impersonal.

    Like

  619. What I love best about local bookstores is employees who legitimately love books and are excited to help customers if they seek it, and no credit cards or memberships being pushed on me at checkout. I love cozy ambience, quirky selections, and community involvement. Guest speakers and local authors who come in to present something cool or read parts of their books. Artwork on the walls. Overstuffed armchairs and a small café. Best of luck to you, Jenny. You and Victor are an unstoppable team of awesome and I know you’ll rock this. ❤

    Like

  620. 625
    Anonymous

    Oh My SWEET GOODNESS! What is the housing market like in San Antonio? Can we buy a 3 bed 2 bath 1500 sqft home for under 1M? Because I am going to fly to San Anotnio from Boston, where I live (and can’t find a 3 bed 1.5 bath where all the bedrooms actually have closets for under $950K) just to visit your store. I’m going to make it a girls weekend, at least two different times with two different girlfriends. But ultimately just moving there seems easier.
    OK. My requests:
    1. Lots of smutty vampire romance
    2. Your books, of course, and make more coloring books
    3. The ability to print, while reading in one of your comfy chairs, a frame-ready print of a beautiful piece of writing
    4. Therapeutic ketamine clinic in the back room\
    5. Consults on my writing, graphic designing and presentation style from any willing participant
    6. The chance to talk with you person to person, if you are so inclined
    7. A non-skeevy Air BnB nearby? I would SO come here for a weekend away.
    8. Consider making it a fragrance free oasis- no perfume, cologne or scented handsoap since they are such common triggers for migraines (including mine)
    9. The amazing and open community you are working to create!
    Big Hugs and I really want this to come to fruition!!!

    Like

  621. 626
    Jeninne Banks

    Definitely the haunted old building! Also, the two best bookstores in the world (Powell’s in Oregon and Tattered Cover in Denver) were ruined for me when they added Coffee. I couldn’t smell the books anymore. Beverages and snacks are a draw but do something like tea and cookies. Books smell too good to be masked by burnt coffee.

    Like

  622. 627
    Angelique

    Totally go with the haunted Victorian house. You can have haunted dark moon parties where you can win books if you live through the night. Like a book survivor lottery.

    Like

  623. 628
    Anonymous

    OMGOMGOMG!!!!! This is SO EXCITING!!!! CAN I MOVE IN??
    Bookstores, big comfy chairs, margaritas and snuggly animals!!!! Perfection!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  624. I vote haunted Victorian for sure. Nobody wants to go to a bookstore in a newish shopping center, duh Victor. I also vote for at least one shop cat. My son’s favorite gaming shop has a shop dog (a fluffy little thing) and it is sooo much fun. At the very least, I vote you partner with a pet rescue and feature photos of cats/dogs/ferrets/whatevers waiting to be adopted.
    My favorite bookstores have had big poofy chairs, a used/trade section that has no organization at all (I’ve found some treasures that I would never have known about if they’d been in their proper “section). Soft music and owners/employees who love books and know what they are talking about (I think you’ve got that covered).

    Like

  625. I love this!!! My favorite bookstore was Walden Books, not sure if it was a chain or not. They sold books and cigars. I love the smell of cigars, reminds me of my grandfather. Whenever I bought a book it had that smell. This will ROCK!

    Like

  626. I love love love Antigone Books in Tucson. It has most of what you describe and is in a funk part of town. So excited for you!! Can’t wait to visit the shop!!

    Like

  627. 632
    Anonymous

    I love this idea so much! Libraries and independent bookstores have been my home away from home since I was little. I will find a way to visit even though I live in California.
    My favorite independent book store “Mystery and Imagination” had to close their brick-n-mortar store because of high rent but they are still online. Even so I miss stopping by, browsing, saying hi and so on.

    Like

  628. Wonderful idea! So glad I live in SA!!
    Not a mall. Not Alamo Heights, but probably more downtown, like in the “newer” Liberty Bar area. I know as a few future regulars we are holding our breaths! Do it!!! Build it and we will come!

    Like

  629. 634
    Bronxquotes

    All my favorite bookstores have book related STUFF. Socks and totes from Out of Print, wonderful greeting cards, a coloring book section and supplies, etc. Some of the best have have small press authors who use them as a base. (Like Edward Gorey with the now defunct Gotham Book Mart.) Animals are a no brainer.

    Oh, by the way, Happy Ferret Day!

    Like

  630. 635
    Pat Cedillo

    I’m completely in favor of all of this but especially the otters! I wish you amazing success!

    Like

  631. 636
    Anonymous

    Comfy chairs

    Like

  632. 637
    Anonymous

    I don’t know what Victor is talking about, I’d prefer a bookstore with cats. I’m not sold on the ferrets though.
    My favorite bookstore is overflowing with so many books that there are stacks and stacks of them on the floor because they don’t fit on the shelves, and that makes me happy.

    Like

  633. 638
    Dani Gray

    I run a book club and the “theme” is wine. … As in “Bring a bottle of wine to share” and we drink, talk about our current book, drink, talk about life, drink, then tell each other how much we love each other until we are ready to fall asleep. It is amazing. BUT it takes place in my living room. Maybe if you had a cozy space that book clubs could rent out for their meetings and drink wine and eat snacks, I would be TOTALLY in love. Like, big fluffy chairs and a fire place? And then you could require them to only choose between the books in your store. 😉

    Like

  634. My current favorite bookstore is Four Seasons Books in Shepherdstown, WV. I’ve attended signings there and I have lost myself in the stacks of used books. Stacks of books and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere are a must. I think the second comes naturally to your brand so all you have to do is obtain books.

    Like

  635. Although I would love it if you would locate farther east maybe around Stone Oak or the Forum, you might look into The Alley aka Artisans Alley on W Bitters. https://www.thealleyonbitters.com/

    Like

  636. This sounds like heaven. My town has 2 (yes, 2!) Indy bookstores, one sells new books with an emphasis on mysteries (hence called The Raven) and one sells used books (hence called The Dusty Bookshelf). They BOTH have resident cats who alternately greet and ignore customers, so hell yes, CATS! And there’s a record store in town that also has cats. But I digress. I would totally do a road trip to come see your bookstore. Be sure to include some taxidermy!

    Like

  637. 642
    Patty Kiker

    Damn, now I’m going to have to move back to Texas. Sigh.

    Like

  638. This is so awesome, Jenny! I’d come to San Antonio just to visit your bookshop. Love all of your ideas, especially the online book club for us non-Texans 🙂

    Like

  639. 644
    Tanya Dapkey

    My Favorite book store is here in Philly. The walls are covered in books, the chairs are hidden in corners created by books. I recommend this dark, cozy hiding feeling. You can see photos of what I mean here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/house-of-our-own-philadelphia

    Like

  640. Oh. My. Heck. You go, bookseller!

    Like

  641. Jenny you are awesome. This is so going to be amazing. No pressure though, it’s just that whatever you do will be amazing because it’s you and straight from the heart. Also you need some sort of door knocker or ‘Open’ sign that says knock knock, motherfucker.

    Like

  642. I LOVE THIS!!!

    I live in Ojai, CA, and our best, and only, book store is Bart’s Books, which is this awesome bookstore that’s inside a converted house, but it’s also open to the air! All the books are protected, but it’s outside…totally awesome. It even has a tree inside!! It sells both new and used books, but mostly used; it even has a book exchange, where you can bring in your used (in good condition) books, and get credit towards others!

    In my opinion, a good book store would allow dogs – WELL BEHAVED DOGS – and have a coffee shop (to go along with your margarita bar. I have serious OCD about catching things like lice from soft public chairs, but I know other people like that stuff, so I could wear a hoodie. Lol. Please make sure to have a section for animal books of all kinds, and maybe do dog/cat/bunny adoptions on certain days!!! Ohhhhh and a food truck day!!!

    Like

  643. 648
    Anonymous

    oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!!! You are living my dream girlfriend. I have always wanted to open a bookstore like the “Shop Around the Corner” in “You’ve Got Mail”. I wish you so much luck and success and if not the ferrets, you have to have at least a couple of shop kitties.
    And to anonymous going to school in CT. That’s where I live and yes, the Book Barn is the BEST!

    Like

  644. That sounds amazing! You could host launch parties so that authors can sit a drink wine while they stress about their book launches and maybe sympathetic strangers can drink wine too and buy a book. 🙂

    Like

    reneewittman recently posted Caught You, Red Headed Woodpecker!.

  645. My god, yes. Please let us all know when your dream opens! How absolutely exciting, and I will make the pilgrimage to Texas to visit! Please go for the creepy Victorian with cool little books for people to read/write!

    Like

  646. 651
    Dagne Fisher

    I had NO IDEA you were in San Antonio!! I’m a native and thought I had been worshipping you from afar, and here you are! I love the book store idea, and agree with all the suggestions posted. I do cat rescue and love the idea of helping them out at the same time. I have a realtor friend/rescue buddy who knows a lot about the historical home market and might have some good suggestions. Can’t wait to hear more about this wonderful project!

    Like

  647. 652
    Anonymous

    I love a bookstore that has write-ups by staff who have read the book, along with “if you like scary lesbian novels, you’ll love this” or something like that. I’m kinda picky about my books, and sometimes they randomly have a theme that you wouldn’t have seen coming. For example, Stones from the River/Son of the Circus. Both great books, both have dwarf characters. Did NOT see that coming.

    Like

  648. Now I want to move to San Antonio, when Texas was never in my bucket. Ah. Surprise ferrets. They are ALWAYS surprise ferrets. And they are beautiful. Who wouldn’t love to baby Bjorn them? They sleep like 20 hours a day, seriously!

    Like

  649. That sounds fantastic Jenny. The ideal bookshop where people can go to mingle or hide but feel comfortable. Delighted for you, it will be a huge success 🥰

    Like

  650. I’m in my office trying not to jump up and down in my chair. So excited for you.

    Things a bookshop should have
    1) Over sized comfy chairs
    2) minimum 2 cats and you could even have a Cats Corner
    3) This is said with all the love in the world but based on your fantastic artistic side please dear god hire a bookkeeper immediately. (The accountant part of me is highly concerned for the corporate side of this dream). Remember taxes and payroll

    Like

  651. 656
    Cookingmel

    All of your ideas sound amazing and I wish you were opening up shop in my hometown!! SOOOOO very excited for you!!

    Like

  652. 100 copies of Lamb, by Christopher Moore

    Like

  653. 658
    Kathy Eschbach

    I think it is absolutely wonderful that you are going to open an independent bookstore. We have 2 left in our city. The others are chains (Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million). My favorite was a little independent bookstore in a strip mall. I can’t remember the name of it, but it had a little Owl with glasses as its logo. It was a fairly small store. Just a few long aisles inside. But I would go there all the time when I was younger and spend hours sitting on the floor looking through all the books. The bookstores I go into now, I just plop my butt on the floor and pull down a book and start reading. It is how I came across your book. I do love the smaller bookstores. They are more cozy and homey. These large chain bookstores are nice, but too much like a Kohl’s. It is difficult to find books in these stores sometimes.
    Oh, be nice if you had pillows at the end of the aisles where you could pick one up and carry it to the aisle. Or have soft lounge chairs/rockers to curl up in and browse through the books. Decorate it with your taste: your dolls on shelves above the bookcases, your miniature houses. You must have Hamlet Mouse or the Raccoon as a logo.
    You might want to have a specified table for books that are free, to be traded/swapped or readers recommend. Though that may be hard to keep track of.
    Sorry, this sounds like a rambling mess. But I think it is a fantastic idea. The world needs more bookstores!!!!

    Like

  654. Congratulations!!! Hugely exciting! Here is a link to my favorite bookstore in Cleveland, Loganberry Books http://www.loganberrybooks.com/about/ very cool space, oriental rugs, leather chairs randomly about, wood floors. Can’t wait to see what you come up with- whatever it is, I know it will be fantastical and amazing!

    Like

  655. My favorite bookstores all have both new books and old books commingling together.

    Also, Victor knows nothing. The bookstore needs at least one bookstore cat.

    I love that you’re wanting to do this. I wish you every good thing in your endeavors!! ❤️❤️❤️

    Like

  656. See if you can rent space in Victoria’s Black Swan Inn on Holbrook Rd. It’s haunted, they say. Also, there was a bookstore right on Broadway by 410 that just closed, but it is in a great location. Comfy chairs, places to chat about books, it sounds amazing!

    Like

  657. Shop cats and surprise ferrets and a margarita bar and awesome books sounds perfect to me. Too bad you can’t bring the bookmobile to Ohio.

    Like

  658. 663
    Anonymous

    OMG, this would be wonderful! I can only imagine what a great place this would be. For me a great bookstore HAS TO have store cats, comfy chairs for browsing, a little gathering place for author events or book clubs. It should also have just a hint of a library smell. . . old books.
    While I’m sure your bookstore wont be in my neck of the woods, I will guarantee I will visit and purchase an armful of books when I come to town.
    I agree with Sakthi ^^^ a “knock knock motherflucker” open sign and an enormous chicken is a must!

    Like

  659. 664
    Anonymous

    It sounds PERFECT!

    Like

  660. There is a fabulous children’s bookstore in MN that has a variety of animals in the store. Maybe Victor just has to see a successful example of animals thriving in a bookstore.

    https://www.wildrumpusbooks.com/meet-animals

    Like

  661. 667
    Anonymous

    You had me at ferrets.

    Like

  662. I would love this and I think our ideas about the space would be very similar (totally haunted and victorian with a fireplace and comfy chairs and coziness) but for one thing: If there is a shop cat, I will not be able to come. I am profoundly, highly allergic to cats and all the things that would make me feel right at home in a small independent bookstore I wouldn’t be able to do if a cat lived there. So, maybe, in the interest of accessibility, maybe a cat- (or perhaps ferret-) free space within the bookshop might be good? I love cats, all animals really, but I know I am not alone with the allergy issue, and I would want to come there, and would want everyone else to be able to, too.

    Like

  663. That’s it. I’m moving to San Antonio with or without my family!

    Like

  664. What a great idea. Do. It. My town (Santa Cruz, CA) used to have this awesome indie bookstore called Book Cafe, which had a coffee bar and lots of bookish gifts. Sadly, it closed once books became more widely available on the internet. But I think there’s this resurgence of interest in these types of places. Places where we can build community and share creativity.

    Like

  665. This is SO EXCITING!!! You’re going to love everything about owning your own bookstore. I miss mine so much. I never made any money, but it was the absolute best job I ever had. And it was never about the money, it was about the books and the people who love the books. Serve coffee/food. Congratulations!!!

    Like

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  666. 672
    metanikki

    How about an online book club for those of us not local? Perhaps run through an FB group? Just a thought! I think you’re gonna be great at this!

    Like

  667. I totally vote for the haunted Victorian. One of my favorite bookstores is the half price on broadway. I love that it’s in an old house. The same is true for the Landa library on Shook Avenue. There also used to be a mystery bookstore off of avenue B called Remember the Alibi which was also In an old house, although it was much smaller. They all have the most amazing vibe and feel so welcoming!!

    Like

  668. Can I be a partner?

    Like

  669. I live in Brookline, MA. Brookline Booksmith is my favorite book store ever! It’s independent, has all the latest, is well laid out, offers suggestions, has a gift area, chairs to hang out and read in, a used book cellar and a writer’s series. It’s a welcoming place with a great vibe.

    Like

  670. the perfect bookstore has:
    a good mix of new and used books (bonus if the shop also BUYS books, or gives store credit for books).
    has coffee as an option, even if it’s just an airpot of french roast or whatever.
    lots of squashy seating to sit and read
    character (i’m with you on the haunted victorian aesthetic).
    a shop cat
    and all of the other things you have mentioned – this sounds fantastic, i really wish i still lived in Austin so i could pilgrimage down!

    Like

  671. Oh my GOSH! I can’t wait for your dream to come true. Now my dream is to have an author event for my yet-to-release unicorn book at your store so that it can officially get the Unicorn Success Club stamp of approval. I would be 7-year-old squealing-giddy. Yay to dreams!

    Like

    Angela A. Wix recently posted The Heart of Struggle.

  672. K. Imma need to move to San Antonio now so I can live in your book shop. Really though, comfy chairs are always in short supply most places. Butts get sore and need soft spots with good back & arm support.

    Like

  673. This makes me so happy!!! Especially since my sister lives in San Antonio, so I’ll have a reason to visit! I love old, used bookstores. There’s one in the square of Denton TX that’s been there for ever. It has several floors. That’s my ideal bookstore. But nothing with automatic moving bookshelves to save space: when I was in grad school I used to have nightmares about having panic attacks in the library (because I couldn’t find what book I needed) and passing out and then being crushed to death by the moving bookshelves.

    Like

  674. This is so AMAZING! I’ve always wanted to own a bookstore, AND I live closeish to San Antonio!! I can’t wait to day trip your store!!! Totally agree, making it public, give accountability, and pushes through crippling anxiety. As a fellow sufferer, I will be sending all good woo your way while you embark on this fabulous adventure!!

    Like

    Sabetha recently posted 24 SFF New Releases for April 2019.

  675. Book stores are indeed magic, and yours will be the most magical of all, I’m sure. I love the idea of at least one or two cats but I’m a crazy cat lady so I say the more the merrier! Your description sounds wonderful, but I’m not a fan of the strip store idea (sorry, Victor). Something more cozy and inviting would be my choice. I have a friend in San Antonio and your bookstore would be one more reason for me to visit!

    Like

  676. 682
    Anonymous

    I would love to see books on display with not the covers showing, but a specific passage pointed out (maybe with post it notes?) that really gives a feel for the book. Whenever I tell people to read Lets Pretend This Never Happened, there are certain passages that I share with them that I know will give the right feel for the book and that will draw them in.

    Also, if I was local I would love the author events!!

    Like

  677. This is my pipe dream too! It fills me with such glee and hope to see somebody else doing it! I love cozy little spots to read and love love the idea of a bookmobile. After becoming a mom one of my favorite things about bookstores is cozy little sections for kids to explore and play.

    Like

  678. 684
    Anonymous

    If you do this I am flying to Texas from Alaska for the SOLE PURPOSE of visiting your bookstore. I might even hide out ala The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, but you can’t know because then it’s not hiding. Unless bookstore sleepovers are allowed. <– IDEA

    Like

  679. Definitely a haunted Victorian ! Can’t believe you’d even consider anything else .

    Like

  680. 686
    Kate George

    There are never enough comfy places to sit in book stores.

    Like

  681. This will quickly become a destination bookstore – much like the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma that is filled with her beloved ranch dog ornaments and magnets – but your bookstore better be filled with bizarre taxidermied animals and metal chickens and dish towels with inappropriate verbiage. And books. There will be books. And chai tea lattes because I don’t drink coffee. I’ve tried. Don’t judge me.

    Like

  682. 688
    Anonymous

    Your ideas sound cozy! Comfy chairs are a must! Just don’t make it too modern, I like the feel of a well-loved library rather than slick and new.
    I’m sure when I see some pics I’ll wish I lived there.
    Good luck!

    Like

  683. Um – there’s no mention of puppies or tea. And I don’t live in Texas, so that’s a problem. Otherwise the plan is sound. 😊

    Like

  684. I’ve always dreamed of a bookstore that hosted introvert social functions where everyone could make their own blanket forts and wear pajamas and also signs that signaled how much social interaction they desired. Also there would be messenger cats roaming around and you could attach little notes to their collars, which would then be received by whatever random person the cat went to next.

    For years I have wanted this. Messenger cats are vital.

    Like

  685. 691
    morebetterkevin

    If I ever make it there, I’d leave little dinosaurs and other tchotchkes around the shelves for them to interact with.

    Like

  686. 692
    Anonymous

    Look for a Victorian house with a turret so you can have a round reading nook with padded benches all around the windows and comfy chairs in the middle. And cats! Victor is a great guy but he’s wrong on this one. You definitely need free range cats. And maybe ferrets.

    Like

  687. 693
    BusinessBookie

    If anyone can make a go of this, it’s you — but please know it’s a TON of physical labor, bookkeeping, meeting with buyers, cleaning, adhering to health and safety regs, doing returns (the biggest pain, IMO), PR, maintaining POS systems, and marketing. Also, it’s a constant struggle to hire experienced book people who don’t think it would be fun to sit around and read all day and chat with customers. I don’t mean to sound negative — it’s just that it’s a very full time job that — sometime doesn’t have a lot to do with customers or reading or promoting writers you love. It’s very gritty.

    Signed, a career bookseller and buyer.

    Like

  688. 694
    Anonymous

    I imagine the bookstore you create will be the most fun, creepy and interesting thing going. So excited for you!

    Like

  689. Are you looking in the middle of San Antonio or in some of the surrounding smaller areas that everyone says “I’m from San Antonio” but it’s just outside of?

    If you have a book store cat, it may be neat to work with a local rescue or shelter and have one perminate one and maybe a foster program if you guys get enough traffic? Since I know animals is part of your heart.

    Like

  690. Kudos!!!! Sounds fantastic!
    A suggestion: Make the stacks only about 5 feet tall (except for the ones against the wall). That way, parents can keep an eye on young’uns across the crowded room, without having to walk a lot and lose their place in the stacks. Also, it makes the area brighter and lighter, easier for old or weak eyes to see.
    A now defunct local shop called Davis Kidd had such a layout (also stacks placed diagonally), and I miss it!
    Can’t wait for yours to bloom!

    Like

  691. Yeah and I’ll be one of your first customers!!!

    Like

  692. 698
    Anonymous

    I love this idea!! I love reading nooks in-between bookshelves where you can get lost in the books that you are reading. I think it would be a neat idea if you left notes (on card stock) in some of the books you love or photos of ferrets if Victor does not allow them in the shop. Congrats!

    Like

  693. 699
    ALLISON Fitzgerald

    Bookstores need to carry stuffed animals that correspond to the book. (Hungry caterpillar, Olivia, Pete the cat, etc.). Always have a puzzle out. Comfy chairs. Plenty of outlets. Knowledge staff.

    Like

  694. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS! I’d love to be able to open my own. Make sure you have a great support team and employees around you.

    Like

  695. 701
    Aliza Caramba Burton

    Bookshelves against the walls, and bookshelves perpendicular to the walls so it never feels like someone is looking over your shoulder.
    Local authors’ space as well as books about SA and Texas.
    A children’s area. But no popup books (I used to work at Barnes and Noble, trust me on this!).
    A used book area, carefully cultivated, where you can buy used books.
    A large metal rooster in a corner.
    Cats? Maybe. I love them, but some people are allergic, so maybe just Sphinx cats.
    Book paraphernalia- bookmarks, pens, bookends, cozy shawls…
    Not so sure about refreshments unless there’s an event happening.
    Make the people who are using your free space tidy up or unpack books to earn their keep, otherwise, it will become a hangout. Or make them prove they’re actually writing something.
    Creaky, wood floors and soothing colors on the walls and shelves, but not too many.
    Chairs are a nice idea, but at B&N people were always falling asleep in them. And snoring. Loudly.
    Magazines, but don’t stock Playboy or Penthouse or you’ll find them on the floor in the bathroom at the end of the day. 🙄

    Like

  696. Congrats! I’m another of those people who have dreamed for years of opening a bookstore. So here are more ideas than you probably want to read.

    Not an old building with narrow pathways and lots of isolated rooms: too inaccessible to people with physical disabilities and too claustrophobic
    Aisles with enough room for more browsers to comfortably pass each other and people walkers and wheelchairs to easily navigate
    Partially hidden nooks separated with shelves, not full-height walls
    Natural light and soft, warm lightbulbs
    Books that include characters of all ages, ethnicities, types, genders, and abilities
    A children’s section where books can be reached by kids of the intended age (no The Cricket in Times Square or Diary of a Wimpy Kid beyond the reach of the average third-grader)
    Seating and entertainment to make kids feel welcome and less likely to constantly beg their caretakers to leave, e.g., a train table, a small table and chairs for reading and drawing, and a kid-height window seat
    Audio books and braille books for people with sight impairment and other reading difficulties
    Some titles for adults learning to read or working to improve their skills—or at least a list of interesting choices at different reading levels from the children’s and YA sections (perhaps partner with a local literacy organization)
    A kiosk for people to look up the book they can’t remember the name of, when they feel too shy or all the staff are busy with other customers
    Sadly, no animals—not even cats, ferrets, otters, or ostriches—because so many people are allergic to or anxious around them
    If you sell snacks, some fruit and some dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free treats (not just pastries for “regular” people)
    If you have food and beverages, washable dishes, utensils, and cups for people eating in the store and compostable containers and utensils for to-go items
    A small discount for people who bring their own cups and/or other containers
    A customer loyalty program with small discounts based on the number or cost of purchases throughout a quarter or year
    Of course, kind, knowledgeable, helpful staff members

    Like

  697. I think there should be cats. Our town opened Tabby’s Catfe and they have cats there that you can snuggle with and adopt. I think this would be perfect for a bookstore. They are on FB.

    Like

  698. Oh, Jenny!🤗 this awesome news, blessings to find the perfect space! My fave bookstore had a handmade crawl space for kids in a corner, it had several levels and openings in different places to go up to the next level. It was in a bookstore that belonged to my second set of parents in Abilene, TX.

    Like

  699. 705
    Anonymous

    Totally HATE ferrets.

    Like

  700. Maybe you can hide the ferrets and rescue kittens in the self-help section.

    Like

  701. I will officially visit San Antonio for the first time when this bookstore is open! I love bookstores that have those little book tags that give descriptions made by the people who work there–it’s so personal and helps you know what a real live person thought! I also appreciate the occasional chair in case you want to take a slightly longer look at something or just a rest while someone else you’re with is taking forever. I like the children’s sections that are kid-friendly and fun and might have some tiny tables and toys and I think you should model your whole store off of what they do in kid sections, becuase WHY NOT! Also, follow my friend Annell on Instagram who travels around to indy bookstores and shares what she likes about them: @annellthebookbabe.
    You will have a LOT of support for this wonderful idea!!!

    Like

  702. squeeeeee!
    I know you’ve got so many comments you will probably never get to this one, but I HAVE to wax rhapsodic about my favorite book shop. It’s actually a gigantic used book store—housed in a pole barn on the outskirts of nowhere Illinois. The Old Book Barn. Forsyth, IL. It is one of my favorite spaces, it feels big and airy, but it’s broken up into little rooms by genre. Every room has places to sit and read and I think they were getting ready to add a little cafe when we moved. I loved that the space was big, but divided to feel cozy and you could just drift and settle all day long!

    Like

  703. Congrats! I’m another of those people who have dreamed for years of opening a bookstore. So here are more ideas than you probably want to read.

    Not an old building with narrow pathways and lots of isolated rooms: too inaccessible to people with physical disabilities and too claustrophobic
    Aisles with enough room for more browsers to comfortably pass each other and people walkers and wheelchairs to easily navigate
    Partially hidden nooks separated with shelves, not full-height walls
    Natural light and soft, warm lightbulbs
    A selection of books that includes characters of all ages, ethnicities, genders, abilities, etc.
    A children’s section where books can be reached by kids of the intended age (no The Cricket in Times Square or Diary of a Wimpy Kid beyond the reach of the average third-grader)
    Seating and entertainment to make kids feel welcome and less likely to constantly beg their caretakers to leave, e.g., a train table, a small table and chairs for reading and drawing, and a kid-height window seat
    Audio books and braille books for people with sight impairment and other reading difficulties
    Some titles for adults learning to read or working to improve their skills—or at least a list of interesting choices at different reading levels from the children’s and YA sections (perhaps partner with a local literacy organization)
    A kiosk for people to look up the book they can’t remember the name of, when they feel too shy or all the staff are busy with other customers
    Sadly, no animals—not even cats, ferrets, otters, or ostriches—because so many people are allergic to or anxious around them
    If you sell snacks, some fruit and some dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free treats (not just pastries for “regular” people)
    If you have food and beverages, washable dishes, utensils, and cups for people eating in the store and compostable containers and utensils for to-go items
    A small discount for people who bring their own cups and/or other containers
    A customer loyalty program with small discounts based on the number or cost of purchases throughout a quarter or year
    Of course, kind, knowledgeable, helpful staff members

    Like

  704. I love the old bookstores in Philadelphia Pa.. books to the ceiling,some narrow aisle with little ladders to help you with the high shelves.. also some trade in options, and cozy chairs to read if you like. Best of luck to you!

    Like

  705. An ever changing selection (weekly/monthly?) of goodies/sandwiches/soups to eat that are HOMEMADE of course! Fabulous coffees and teas along with other beverages but not your run of the mill offerings. I love places that offer out of the box unusual food, beverages and things to buy. I love to browse and buy cards and love to do crafts (which might be ideas for you to include). Cats and ferrets or other animals like hamsters or guinea pigs or bunnies (goats are a ton of fun!) are a must for me as a passionate life long animal lover and comfy chairs-with some that can sit 2 people in them. I have a BFF who lives outside of San Antonio and would be able to visit annually! The best of luck in making your dreams come true!

    Like

  706. 712
    Michael Grierson

    Just make sure there’s some deal worked out about the HVAC maintenance.

    Like

  707. I don’t know if this idea was posted yet or not (there are a LOT of comments!), but my favorite bookstore (which sadly was flooded a few years ago and did not recover) was this little store tucked under the stairs of a building. When you walked inside the smell of books drifted over you and you knew you were home. They sold all the new books up front, but the back of the store was dedicated to used books people came and traded in for either store credit or another set of books to take home. I found some amazing older books that were no longer in print, some even in hardback! I never bought a new book from that store, I always walked straight to the back to see what I could find. Now I really miss it.

    Like

  708. Here’s what I’ve learned. I’m a published author, and I work with three local indy bookstores: A college-level nonfiction store, one aimed at mysteries, and a large used bookstore.

    EVENTS. EVENTS. EVENTS. You must have events. They spread the word that you exist among a variety of readers (e.g., all the authors’ fans). They make your store an exciting destination (look on the wall at all the big-name — well, regional big-names — well, three self-published authors no one’s heard of and a poet!).

    But most of all, events will keep you in business. You’ll make enough money in events to keep your store open on the other days when you’re bringing in pennies.

    The mystery bookstore and used bookstore owners told me this. The nonfiction store, owned by a righteous lefty in the middle of a biggish city, has a yearly “book festival” (actually four big-name nonfiction authors) for events. Helps his bottom line as well.

    GET A MAILING LIST. Generally to announce events. They’ll be your loyal customers.
    JOIN A BOOKSELLERS ASSOCIATION. I’m not sure which ones cover your area, but they’re a great resource for information and advice.
    DON’T EXPECT TO MAKE MONEY, OR A LIVING. JUST HOPE TO BREAK EVEN. One bookstore owner I know also owns the lot and building her store is in. She has volunteers willing to come in and run an event or event a one-day festival. The other hasn’t paid herself a nickle; her husband works elsewhere. She pays her employees, and hopes, within a few years, to start paying herself as well. Oh, and they own the building, too, a rat-infested former auto body paint shop (she fosters cats from the local shelter; they keep the infestation down, and add charm to the store).

    If you’ve done signings, I would suggest calling those booksellers you got along with well and pick their brains.

    Like

  709. I am sincerely hoping this isn’t a belated April Fool’s prank, because I will be forced to wish horrid things on your chickens and outhouses!
    However, if you open a bookshop for real, I might finally have a reason to visit America!!!
    The best advice I can give is – design it with a fat person in mind. There is nothing worse than going to a bookstore which is supposed to be awesome, and not being able to move easily through the store. It is bad enough at cafes, but at bookstores?!!! I know selling space is the purpose, but if customers can’t easily pass each other down the aisles and between shelves, it makes it a very unfriendly environment.
    Just my $0.02, and as my new teenager always says – you do you.
    (Oh and it really is not considered “second hand” if you bought it to read it and then sell it… 😉 )

    Like

  710. 716
    Anonymous

    So exciting! You should definitely have a shop cat, I love bookstores with those. All the luck in the world!

    Like

  711. 717
    pastorsharon

    A library in Sandwich, NH has a mirror on a stack of old books with the sign “Self Check Out.” Could be a thing.

    Like

  712. 718
    Crystal Burton

    Suggestion: Please, no pets. I’m terrified of cats and ferrets, and I’m also allergic. I become paralyzed with fear and cry hysterically, in the midst of sneezing and snotting, red swollen shut eyes, and severe asthma attacks. It’s a real horror show! I’d love to visit and get an autograph in person but those are HUGE hindrances.

    Like

  713. 719
    Christine Miley

    Oh HELL YES!! I’ve aleays wanted to go to San Antonio and this would be the BEST reason to go!

    Like

  714. 720
    Anonymous

    Totally second that emotion about Square Boooks in Oxford, MS. Hill Country girl here (Fredericksburg, TX) and I’ve been marinating on a book store idea for YEARS! Maybe have a Texas author section with Texas writers who aren’t assholes? And Victorian house of course! Can’t wait!

    Like

  715. 721
    Anonymous

    Comfy chairs and coffee.

    Like

  716. I love this so much. I will make a pilgrimage for this. I might suggest something in the way of a graffiti wall, or something where we can leave an encouragement for you or for others. You realistically can’t always be there but it would be nice if there was a way we could leave something especially present if we missed you. I love the idea of an old haunted house with big chairs, but I’d visit you in an airport kiosk with tailgate pop up chairs. Either way. If you build it, we will come.

    Like

  717. ….. Can I admit that I’m tearing up right now, without it sounding creepy? ‘Cause I totally am. This is AMAZING!!! I checked and double-checked the date on your post in case it was an April Fool’s joke, it just felt too good to be true, Wow! …. When this gets up and running I am totally going to save up to visit Texas just for this bookstore!!

    What do I love in a bookstore? I will always cherish the small cozy bookstores, those ones with too many bookshelves for the amount of space and a smell of books and a warm inviting feeling… Of course nice comfy places to sit is a must, whether to leaf through books or just hang out and feel comfortable in a space. I don’t know what all sorts of books you plan on having, but I love finding random little-known books, ‘niche’ topics that I would never even think to look for but hey look at that book I must read it!

    I am so so so so excited for you. For all of this Tribe, I’m sure this will be an amazing adventure for everyone following you!

    Like

  718. 724
    Anonymous