Halloween Display Contest: And the winner is…

Halloween Display Contest: And the winner is…

At last! The winner of the Halloween Display Contest is… Dragonfly Book of Decorah, IA. Thanks to all who submitted display photos for the contest. See all of the Halloween displays in the gallery below.

wall of shop favs

bbgb tales for kids in Richmond, VA, posted this photo on their Facebook page earlier this week with the following message: “need a gift idea? check out our wall of shop favs. 15% off when you purchase the book of the day! it’s fa la la all day today!”12316348_1051621834869600_4782706277373648197_n

I asked one of the owners, Jill Stefanovich, if they wrote directly on the wall. She explained that she used a special chalk paint pen that will wash off.

Subsequent Facebook posts feature individual “gift books of the day”:

Screenshot 2015-12-03 12.36.12

“Dinovember” Display

“Dinovember” Display

Renée Barker with Just The Bookstore in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, sent this image to me of her “Dinovember” display. “This has been a good foot-traffic-stopper in our window,” she said.

Barker got the idea from the book What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night: A Very Messy Adventure by Refe and Susan Tuma, which got its start on social media, but was published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in October. “A mom and dad set up the toy dinosaurs their kids left out as though they came alive after the kids were asleep,” she explained.

I’ve included a video about the book below.

Barker says she the window was fun to put together, and they’ll likely repeat it next November… which is appropriate, because the Dinovember Facebook page is an annual affair as well.

Adaptable Section Signs

Adaptable Section Signs

Before I saw the image on the Appletree Books website of their beautiful stairs, I noticed the image of their section signage. Affixed to the slat board wall were little chalkboards designating each section. These signs were added after Lynn Quintrell purchased the store a year ago. “The previous owner didn’t believe in having descriptors about genres or sections,” says Appletree’s owner.


Section Sign | Next Page Books, Frisco, CO

The chalkboard signs reminded me of a similar technique Karen Berg is using at Next Page Books & Nosh in Frisco, Colorado. In fact, I had forgotten I’d taken this photo on my phone when I visited over Spring Break. Karen painted rectangles of chalkboard paint directly on the wall above the bookcases.

The owners of both stores use various chalkboards around the store as well, on little easels in tabletop displays, in store windows, and on sandwich boards.

Chalkboard signs can be a great solution if you change displays a lot or move a lot of inventory. A little water and chalk can seem like a small investment if your sections are always shifting or moving or bulging or spare.

Here are a few other chalkboard signs in action at Appletree Books in Cleveland Heights, OH, and Next Page Books & Nosh in Frisco, CO.

On the Risers at Appletree Books

On the Risers at Appletree Books

I was stumbling around the internet a few weeks ago when I saw the website for Appletree Books in Cleveland Heights, OH. I didn’t realize at the time that the new WordPress site had just launched around mid-May. I only knew that it was so inviting and extremely well-designed, I kept scrolling up and down the page to look at the store images incorporated into the site.

And then I saw the staircase.

I contacted Lynn Quintrell, Appletree’s owner, to find out more about the store and the building. Although the store is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Quintrell only bought Appletree Books a year ago.

“We closed for three weeks to computerize the inventory and also do some remodeling and rearranging,” she says. “The store hadn’t hosted an event or book group in 25 years, so we opened it up. And the loft area was totally unused, so we added full-size stairs and tightened up the spindles.”

Once the stairs were in place, Quintrell had an idea. So she hired a faux painter and muralist to paint book spines on the risers leading up to the loft. “I picked out books that had sentimental ties, but then I chose some that were artsy as well,” she says.

The result is this beautiful imaginative staircase that leads to a functional space while maintaining the historical integrity of the building. You can see a glimpse of the staircase on their site, or here’s a larger image.