BIG NEWS

Very exciting news on the Nowhere Bookshop front…

We have a general manager!

And she’s amazing.

Her name is Elizabeth Jordan and she’s been the CEO of BookPeople in Austin (one of my favorite bookstores of all time) for years but she wanted to be closer to her family in San Antonio and we’re in San Antonio so this works out perfectly.  Especially because I am so overwhelmed and she is so amazing and I am melting with relief that she’s going Nowhere.

Elizabeth with her adorable kids

Also, I am constantly sending her texts of my ideas, like how we should have live chickens in the store (but with diapers, obvs) and she sends me back texts saying that she is not changing chicken diapers and reminding me of health codes and Victor is very happy that finally there is another grown-up involved who can talk me down off the ledge and also knows how to sell books and host amazing events.

I’m pretty sure this will be us very soon:

Except slightly less violent and also possibly drunk and maybe with chickens.  (But probably not chickens unless I can bribe the health inspector which Elizabeth says I totally can’t do.)

Welcome to Nowhere, Elizabeth.


174 thoughts on “BIG NEWS

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  1. This is AMAZING! I love BookPeople as well and visit regularly. Even though I am in Austin, I will definitely make the trip to visit your store!! <3

  2. You don’t want chickens in the store, Jenny. I grew up with chickens (in the yard, though, not the house).
    Most chickens are assholes.

  3. This is awesome news. Congratulations! I’ve always wanted to open a bookstore/tea shop/local artisan shop but will have to settle for a Little Free library next year until I can secure some funding. As an adjunct professor, funding is always a top issue. But I’m not giving up on my dream! And now I can realize my dream vicariously through your blog. Many congratulations!

  4. So much fun watching your project come together. The two of you will make a great team. Thanks for sharing the steps along they way!

  5. I don’t want to be a thorn in Elizabeth’s side, but one of my favorite bookstores, Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis, TOTALLY HAS CHICKENS LOOSE IN THE STORE.

    (Apparently we can either have the bar or we can have chickens. I guess we’re making the right decision but I already miss the chickens we never had and all the costumes they could have worn. Maybe I can some for the house though… ~Jenny)

  6. Could you just move Beyonce to the store? Then Elizabeth wouldn’t have to change chicken diapers.

    (Did Elizabeth set you up to this? Because that’s exactly what she said and also what is going to happen. ~ Jenny)

  7. Fantastic! Personally, my cat and dog would LOVE the chickents…you will allow furry muses to visit, of course? (why am I even asking, obviously!)

  8. I’m so with you on chickens. Seems really basic to the vibe. Or… will the cats let us put tentacles on them?

  9. I always kind of wondered how well Jenny did all those years in human resources. Now we see she kicked ass there too. Perfect choice!!!

  10. Absolutely wonderful news! Your account of your exchanges makes me think you may have found a bookstore soulmate.

  11. My name is Elizabeth, and NGL that last sentence was like a gut punch, but the good kind. (Um, you know what I mean?)

  12. I already have friends taking selfies in front of the “not quite Nowhere Bookstore yet”. And saw that many well-wishers have been dropping off gifts. You have a big community supporting you!

  13. Okay, here’s an idea. You and Elizabeth are going to have a runaway success with (to?) nowhere, so you need to work out a deal with a nearby/walking distance B&B so that those of us coming in from out of town have a go-to place to stay. Unless you’re opening a loft for over-nighters/cat tenders.

  14. A woman just died from being attacked by a rooster. Let’s not start your new store off with a chicken pecking fatality, just saying…

  15. I can’t wait to go Nowhere with you! Next time I’m in San Antonio watch out for me! How about cats instead of chickens? Every bookstore needs at least one cat.

  16. Congratulations- finding a great manager is a gem, and lucky Elizabeth for being able to work with you! Have fun going Nowhere!

  17. You found someone who gets you AND has required skills. Double bonus. Wish I lived closer so I could be there. Think you’re amazing.

  18. You wouldn’t need chicken diapers if you were set up for “Chicken Shit Bingo”! Imagine the crowds that would come through the door. Books / Beer / Bingo!

  19. I’d rather have chickens than cats! Sadly, despite my name, I’m seriously allergic to cats, so I’ll be enjoying Nowhere (and being able to breathe) from a distance. Whomp-whommmmp. But I’m just so excited and happy for you — I know this bookshop is something you’ve dreamed of.

  20. I live in Minnesota and can’t believe I’ve never been to The Wild Rumpous! Shhhh. Don’t tell. I plan to rectify that at the earliest opportunity!

    (Take me with you. ~ Jenny)

  21. Is there any space “out back” for the chickens to hang out? I mean, if rescues can sponsor Cat Cafes, then Bookstores should be able to house a Chicken Petting Patio. Assuming they like to be pet? IDK. I just think you shouldn’t ever say never to Chickens.

  22. If I had to choose, I would pick cats over chickens every time. But I still think it’s lame that they won’t let you have chickens AND a bar. Even hospitals have lovely aviaries in their waiting rooms…could you not have a gang of tiny Bantam hens in a bookstore aviary? Sorry Elizabeth!

  23. There is a cat cafe near me, and when I looked at the website, there was a chicken among the cats!! I’ll try to include a link here, because there is some mention of how they can have cats and food (separate rooms, maybe separate ventilation). Worth a look, I hope!

    https://catandcraftcafe.com/

  24. Welcome Elizabeth! We love you and your adorable children already even if you won’t change chicken diapers. (Ironically autocorrect changed children to chicken on my phone, so it appears you have already changed chicken diapers so what is a few more?)

  25. Instead of chickens with diapers I’d vote for metal chickens (giant or otherwise) – much easier to care for! And I’ve always loved Beyoncé’s story …

  26. She’s the luckiest girl in the world!!! I can’t imagine a job more packed with fun, unlimited possibilities and chickens!

  27. Make sure you get the bees out of Beyoncé before moving her to the bookstore. Otherwise you’ll have a whole ‘nother health code issue to deal with O_o

  28. Whoop whoop! Welcome to the Nowhere jungle, Elizabeth! ☺️ Elizabeth seems like a fabulously grounded counterpart who is also exceptionally experienced! Bravo 👏 This is going to be a smash hit enterprise! I cannot wait to visit!

    I think bringing Beyonce to Nowhere is a great swap for live chickens (good job Elizabeth😉) although I know you wanted to dress real ones up. Perhaps you can have a shelved wall of clothed taxidermy chickens instead? Then you can change their outfits whenever you want and it shouldn’t conflict with health code violations??? I don’t think??? 🤔🤔🤔😂 or perhaps just a weirdly wonderful chicken art wall-ceramic chickens, abstract painted chickens, you name it!

  29. I AM HERE FOR ALL OF THIS.
    Even the chickens because I don’t mind them so maybe if there’s a little yard or space that you could fence, the chickens can still be a part of the magic. <3

  30. I want to work for you! But I live in Canada. And don’t know anything about running a book store. But if you open another bookstore in Toronto, I am your gal! I will TOTALLY change chicken diapers!

  31. Big, Huge congratulations, Jenny!!!
    I’m totally coming to browse when you open- unless you need help decorating beforehand?
    Also, I’m a psychiatrist in MA, but I’ll totally get a Texas license and open up shop right next to you, because I “prescribe” Furiously Happy and “You Are Here” more than I prescribe Prozac- seriously. And now I can just send people right next door. But you can’t refer customers to me or it could look like a kickback. Anyone needing a psychiatrist who will admit to having had the fuckits from time to time will just have to stumble across my office on their way in/out of your store.

    (I love this. ~ Jenny)

  32. I should clarify, anyone who wants their psychiatrist to admit to having had the fuckits may find me helpful. The person seeking my services need not ever have had or admit to having had the fuckits.

  33. Maybe chickens could be special guests at a children’s storytime. When I worked at a bookstore, I always found excuses to get animals in the store. We had a Dragons Love Tacos party with a bearded dragon, and I almost got 3 little pigs to visit, except only 1 little pig was available that day. And we had owls and a raven and probably some other bird of prey, and the local zoomobile brought a Burmese python and a porcupine and a tarantula. I wasn’t allowed to bring a llama into the store but we did have one in the parking lot and I actually have a picture of myself reading a Llama Llama book to him.

  34. Yay!!!!!!!! One step closer to Nowhere coming into the physical world!!

    I am secretly (or maybe not secretly at all) SUPER excited for anything that helps to quicken the pace to getting your doors open by the end of the year because I will actually get to be in San Antonio in January and half the reason I even agreed to the trip was because of the mere POSSIBILITY that your bookshop would be open by then.

    Yay!!!!

  35. How about a drop box where people can leave books to be donated to schools with low funding, senior centres or homeless people?

  36. A monthly guest speaker bringing in a chicken or other animal and doing an educational talk on the animal and a nearby display with all sorts of books related to that animal.

  37. Sounds like things are going great, and the startup is moving at a fast pace! We have to plan a vacation that will take us through San Antonio.
    A lot of chickens really are assholes. Same with geese, peacocks, and swans. But when you bring Beyonce into the store, you could still put a diaper on her.
    There are some restaurants called The Range here in Albuquerque (there are only three or four, so it’s not enough to call a chain) and they have blue, bug-eyed, human-sized papier-mache flying cows in one and similar child-human-sized coyotes in another. It does a lot for the atmosphere (it helps that the food and service are great.) The possibilities are unlimited if you go in that direction.

  38. WAIT WAIT WAIT. What if you had chickens living nearby on a chicken farm and you had a CHICKEN CAM with a TV screen set up in the store???

    (Ooh. ~ Jenny)

  39. SQUEEE!! Every single post you make about Nowhere makes me react like ‘omg omg it’s one step closer!!!’ and yay! Elizabeth sounds awesome, although booo to no diapered-chickens. It would be hysterical to see diapered chickens scampering around a bookstore, lol.

  40. Couldn’t you have chickens in an outdoor courtyard away from the booze? I’m just making Elizabeth’s life harder, sorry Elizabeth. I’ll be helpful: plushy chickens in smoking jackets as souvenirs and other reproduction taxidermy.

  41. My friend and I are so looking forward to your bookstore! We are planning a ladies’ trip to check it out. <3

  42. There are chickens in stores in Holland. Chickens are very friendly and like to sit on laps while you read. I say go for it.

  43. It’s all so exciting! Except the chickens in diapers. As someone who has a coop full of chickens, I feel comfortable saying Elizabeth is right: no diapered chickens.

  44. Welcome Elizabeth, to this community you were probably already a part of, but now we know your name. You will fit in perfectly.

  45. This is awesome! There is a bookstore in Minneapolis (www.wildrumpusbooks.com) that has a bunch of animals running around and did have a chicken (I don’t see it on the website anymore so maybe rip chicken?). Mad love for chickens in TX so maybe it is ok?

  46. Can’t… stop…laughing!
    I am simultaneously thrilled for you Jenny and also worried for Elizabeth.
    I cannot believe she turned down chickens in diapers for a bookstore!
    The nerve! 😂

  47. She sounds perfect! And what a vote of confidence to have someone who knows the book business inside and out (the CEO of BookPeople!) sign on right at the start to help you make this happen. It’s going to be great, Jenny! I don’t know if I’ll ever get there to see it in person, but I get over-the-moon/slightly-teary-eyed with happiness every time you post about your progress. Wishing you and Elizabeth all the best!

  48. If we can’t have chickens can we have cats? Also I think we need a line of merch inspired by your books like a stuffed Jenkins and a stuffed Rory. Omg a Rory puppet!!!!!! Can I be in charge of product development I’m really good at it. I’ve worked retail for 20 years and I know what sales just ask my merchandiser

  49. I grew up in the middle of Nowhere. I loved Nowhere. I’m going back to Nowhere as soon as I can.

  50. Are there any health code rules against having a duck-billed platypus on the premises? I think that would make a fantastic shop mascot.

  51. Could you have taxidermied chickens? No need for diapers. Probably okay with the health department (I don’t actually know anything about the San Antonio Department of Health, so please don’t rely on this).

  52. Are you gonna let your employees wait out front for customers to leave so that they can knock them over and say “HOLY SHIT you just came outta Nowhere!”

    Seriously though, you could always bribe a chicken farmer to set up next door, because having chicken noises in the background during a reading session would be relaxing as hell.

  53. Pretty sure you can find a couple decent taxidermied chickens if you look hard enough. You can dress them for the seasons. And an employer can have the title of um….chicken duster.

  54. Dammit Lila stole my idea! Chicken cams. Regular bars have multiple TV’s up all over with sporting events – your bar should have critter-cams. Maybe on a schedule…. Especially those from adoption/ rescue centers. Like https://explore.org/livecams/kitten-rescue/kitten-rescue-cam… there’s a https://explore.org/livecams/currently-live/brown-bear-salmon-cam-brooks-falls, and a service dog cam: https://explore.org/livecams/service-dog-project/great-danes-indoor-room-puppy-cam (OK just found this expore.org site and it is AMAZING!!)

  55. Hmm. They never said you can’t have ducks. Or snakes. Or kangaroos. Just avoid chickens. I’m assuming because chickens eat books.

  56. I could set up an ALL KITTENS, ALL THE TIME CAM as I foster mama cats and their babies! Also I’m going to plan a road trip to visit the store and I’m going to call it My Road To NoWhere Road Trip!!

  57. Alternatively….create a glass wall with a chicken hutch behind in a secret chicken space…opens up on the other side like your hau ted dollhouse. Bookshelves on your side. When people take books they see a chicken nestled in hay laying eggs. Our local children’s hospital does this…but with meerkats. Kids love it. I love it.

  58. Will there be games? A secret room? Fun Japanese style vending machines? How about posters of adoptable animals with book recommendations…like “this sweet boy, Jimbo, is looking for his forever home and recommends The Grapes of Wrath…”. Or taxidermy friends holding book recommendations… Maybe an annual taxidermy tableau contest?
    Special hello and good wishes to Dorothy Barker. We lost our beloved pupper this weekend and it’s crushing us.
    Go Jenny! The world loves you!
    (Get a penny smashing machine!)

  59. This is probably one of my favourite comments sections so far. Chicken cameras! Although I grew up with chickens and they are straight up evil.
    And you should check out the british comedy black books. Hilarious

  60. I am extremely glad things are going well! Elizabeth sounds like the lady that can do it. If she loves chickens, which she clearly does since a firm no wasn’t heard, then she clearly belongs with you in Nowhere! And I cannot wait to head that direction myself! And if you’re interested in some used Latin books, just let me know and I can bring them with me – retired Latin teacher here. I mean you have to admit, Latin is cool. I bet Elizabeth thinks Latin is cool. Chickens definitely do!

  61. I love the secret room idea!

    Jenny, it is all “wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful!/ And yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all hooping!” (I don’t know why Shakespeare used two o’s in “hooping.” Perhaps at this point in As you Like It the excitement grew so intense that everyone broke out the Hula Hoops.”)

    Welcome to Elizabeth. Obviously, I’ll be needing to make a trip to Texas. But please — not too many cats. My anti-histamines can only do so much.

    Ruth

  62. When in Mpls go next one over to St Paul and check into The Red Balloon. Very fabulous kids bookstore – with a few animals.

    I have a request perfect for Christmastime. Please try to have “Star Mother’ s Youngest Child” available for holidays. It is one of those small like 4×4 specialty books. I have still been able to order it and love to gift it for Christmas.

    I’m wishing you, Elizabeth, and Beyoncé all the best with this maaaavelouuus endeavor. 🎉📚🎶🎭🥰‼️

  63. Welcome Elizabeth to the craziest group of crazies you can imagine! But don’t worry, we’re all very welcoming as long as the margaritas are good and there is at least a metal chicken somewhere. But if there isn’t I can bring one. No worries.

  64. You need to post some of your back-and-forth text convos with Elizabeth. I bet they’re hilarious!

  65. Awesome!!!! So happy for you Jenny!! Live far away now from Austin snd SA but hope to come to your store when you have your first book signing there!! CONGRATS!!!

  66. I am so happy to hear this and so happy for you! Many people have ideas, but your idea is happening! <3

  67. I’m an indie author and would love to do a signing at your bookstore!!! I’ve been following your blog for years and am a huge fan. I’ll be in San Antonio in November. If you can put in touch with your amazing new manager, I’m sure we can work something out :).

  68. So exciting!! Now I have to find a way to talk the hubby into taking a vacation to San Antonio so I can visit the bookstore!!

  69. Congratulations!
    As I am broke and in Canada and neither of those situations is likely to change, I’m sad that I will probably not be able to visit your lovely dream come to fruition. However, it is possible for me to buy a bookmark with your beautiful logo on it. You will make them? Please?
    Enjoy this journey!

  70. You could consider having some meerkats… We have a cafe near us (in South Korea) where 4 meerkats run around, sit on your lap, try to steal your ice cream, etc. 🙂

  71. I’ll be in San Antonio in two weeks and I’m most disappointed that my new favorite bookstore won’t even be open yet. But who doesn’t like cuddling with chickens? I mean, you could sell eggs!

  72. If it’s not too late and you haven’t been to Italy yet, see if you can get to San Gimignano in Tuscany. It has a museum of torture (!) which is not for the faint hearted, so much so that I had to leave at one point and sit outside with my head between my knees….. You said you liked quirky/non-touristy stuff!

  73. You can still have chickens. Just have them in a large, open run in back with a window/door to view through. Then you can also sell eggs! P.S. Chickens also like people to read to them.

  74. Do it! There is an amazing children’s bookstore in Minneapolis (Wild Rumpus) that has a whole menagerie- a chicken (a black frizzle named Neil deGrasse Tyson), cats, birds, a tarantula, and other animals I’m forgetting. It’s so great.

  75. This makes my Austin heart so happy. I cannot wait to visit this new store when it opens! San Antonio isn’t that far away.

  76. Jenny you will probably never read this but until you do thank you for you. I have been in eating disorder treatment (and for a lovely cesspool of other mental health issues) for about a year and a half strait (one of many since I was fourteen now 35) and had two recent suicide attempts. Treatment is coming to an end and while I have made some steps towards recovery I’m nowhere near okay and still struggling to stay alive at least for others I am very passionate about not causing others pain. One thing that truly helps keep me alive sometimes is books. If I have a good book I want to at least stay alive to see it through to the end. I don’t know what’s next and would just like to put it out here that I would love to work in your bookstore. I have nothing really keeping me anywhere and no reason not to move from California ( except for the whole feeling very comfortable being gay here but whatever I’m pretty asexual) this might come off as stalkerish and or crazy whoops but I do own the crazy. No matter what thank you for contributing to mental health awareness and for those like me that suffer hunour in mental health is paramount to surviving. Gallows humor is a delight for me though my therapist hasn’t grown to appreciate mine as such. Keep it coming lady

    Murdered: run if you want to live!
    Me: *** starts sprinting ****
    Murderer: but not like toward me though..

  77. If health inspectors can give exception to cafes on animals if they’re up for adoption, I imagine you should be able to get chickens in there if they’re also up for adoption. Of course, as someone who’s owned birds and books at the same time, they’re very destructive to books.

  78. I for one hold with those in favor of a kitty cafe. Like an adjoining coffee shop where you can read books and pet cats. Sounds like heaven to me.😺
    Then again, why not an adjoining chicken coop?🐔

  79. I agree with Lila and MustangSally – chickencams and crittercams sound like a great idea without all the mess!
    Although, if you are ever near La Grange, stop by Rohan Meadery (https://www.rohanmeadery.com). They have chickens outside their mead tasting room! You can buy chicken feed for a quarter to feed them. 🙂

  80. Who said the chickens are live and not stuffed? Or outside? There’s a solutions somewhere. Or Nowhere.

  81. If you get chickens get Speckled Sussex, they’re super friendly and will try to peck off your toenail glitter. In a good way.They eat leftovers and you can dry out coffee grounds for them to dust bath in. Do not give them coffee though. Bad things happen.I hate to mention it but rooster taxidermy is also a thing.

  82. Kind of off topic and on topic at the same time…..are you going to have a section for rare books? First editions? COMIC BOOKS???

  83. I live in Minnespolis, and we have a children’s book store with CATS, CHICKENS, SNAKES, and all sorts of animals! It’s Called “Wild Rumpus.” The cats (rescue cats) run free around the store always, the chickens sometimes, and all the things with scales are in pens/behind glass. Email them and ask how they do it!

  84. YES CHICKENS! But Beyoncé with like a flock of little metal chicks all around her.

    Also congratulations on the great hire, and I’d like my T-shirt to be a women’s large. I don’t have twitter so I can’t vote in the pole.

  85. Hi,
    I found your web site by means of Google while looking for a related subject, your site got here up I will make sure to bookmark it. I really appreciate you sharing this blog article. Really looking forward to reading more.

  86. I live in California, but I’m totally down to come to San Antonio for the opening! I haven’t been, so sounds like a perfect time to take advantage.

  87. OOh! things are happening!
    Before you get too deep, you want to use a Project Manager, something like “Slack” though “Shotgun” is a lot more developed and private. This will keep these texts as well as milestones like the millions of inspections and vendor info, all together.

  88. Please come to Minnesota. We have a bookstore with chickens. No diapers needed.And if you want some help with teen and children’s programming I will take my vacation days and come down to help.

  89. I am so excited about Nowhere! I am starting a Silent Book Club chapter in San Antonio and Nowhere is perfect for it! (Silent Book Club is people getting together to talk a little about what they are reading and then sitting together reading. preferably in a bar! https://silentbook.club/. Th first one is next week, at Sanchos (they are my client so of course agreed to it–I do their website and band booking. https://sanchosmx.com/sanchos-event/silent-book-club/ ) But, really, really want to do it at Nowhere when it opens–would love to talk to you or Elizabeth about it. Cannot wait for Nowhere to open! So exciting!

  90. That’s incredibly exciting! I wish your bookstore much success; may it be a haven for those who love to read and seek out community among others who share your passions.

  91. Not for nothing, but there’s a children’s bookstore near us that has a chicken, two store cats, two rats, two pigeons, two chinchillas, and a bird that doesn’t have a partner because it’s an asshole and kept pecking all the birds they tried to put with him. Oh, and a fish tank in the bathroom wall. It’s called Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis, MN. So they might be able to help you with the chicken in a store thing.

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