Last week, I called for images of your store reading nooks. I teased with an image of the children’s nook at The Book Tavern in Augusta, GA. Here’s another view of that adorable little nook under the stairs.
I visited with David Hutchison, owner of The Book Tavern, about his space. “The store is a remodel. It use to be a large department store called J.B. White’s, but in the late 70’s they left for the mall and then were bought by Dillards I think. So the building sat in decay for a long time,” he says. “A few years ago a group remodeled it and put condominiums in the upper three floors and renovated the downstairs for retail. I have a coffee shop right across the foyer called New Moon Cafe.”
Hutchison says that children’s books are in his top three categories of sales per shelf foot. And though the store is very open, he often has to direct customers to the kids section. “We plan on making a sign to go along the stairs at some point,” he says, “and I’ve also got plans to put more fun lighting in.” Hutchison built the shelves and bench you see in the photo.
“We do a Super Awesome Story time every Wednesday morning at 10:30 for pre-schoolers and home-schooled early grades,” says Hutchison. “About 12-20 kids show up to each one and our neighbor, New Moon, provides cookies and lemonade or hot chocolate depending on the weather.”
Hutchison says he wants to add reading programs for older grades, too, especially for middle grade readers. “My kid’s programmer, Kenneth Benson, is working on something like the Book It program, but with all local business rewards and maybe a few activities beyond just logging hours/books.”