Even though it's been bleak and blustery, here at PPB we are green and growing! We've added 400 square feet, and wait 'til you see our two new sunshiny rooms. Have you ever moved things around in your home, and it hasn't gone, well — perfectly at first?? Let me explain ...
First thing in the morning of the big move-in-to-our-added-space day, Tucker and I had hot morning coffee in hand and we were feeling spry. We took stock of our new space, just east of our former Reading Room, and our initial move was obvious -- we'd simply nudge the Room over! With tremendous confidence and vigor, Tucker and I lifted and shoved our Reading Room sofas and love seats and chairs and tables and rugs over to the new space and then we plumped pillows and hung artwork and added a mini-frig. Phew. Our new Reading Room is ready for you to host your book clubs and for us to host you during ours. Plus, just generally we can host there the very book-based GATHERINGS that I dreamed of having when I opened Prairie Path Books two and a half years ago. We have 65 coming Saturday for our author visit - and we hope to welcome many a'more into this new space.
Our coffee gone cold, Tucker and I wiped our brows and looked around the newly empty space where the Reading Room had been. We set about filling it, and we knew with what because I had decided to expand our children's section. See, y'all love children's books - it's one of our tippity-top-selling sections. And frankly, for a long time the 3 itty-bitty bookshelves in our original children's section were cramping our enthusiasm. We needed more ... well, bookshelves, and so we set our sights on the newly empty (former) Reading Room which had FIFTEEN BOOKSHELVES already in it! "Think what we could do with FIFTEEN bookshelves, Tucker!" says I. Huzzah and exultations!! So she and me feasted on apples and peanut butter (it being noon by now) and then brought ALL the picture books over to their new space and stacked them in stacks! We stepped back and smiled at our piles.
I'm sure there are bookstore owners who would know in advance how to move a children's bookstore over with no errors, but guess what? I'm not one of them, so amidst the book piles we weren't quite sure where to put yet, me and Tucker dragged in the new colorful kids' rug and the cheery child-like yellow table and chairs and the adorable wee brown bookshelves from my Tom's childhood bedroom. All was a'mess, but it somehow inspired us - and so over the next hours we shelved our books and placed the rugs and like, then stood back and looked. We consulted and laughed and shifted them again. Jenny came in and made a comment that made us re-think — so we all shifted and shoved again. I think what we came up with will delight you and the children - it was created with warmth and love and joy.
One very personal aside - please bear with me: When we created a new children's section, I knew I wanted to rename it so it would stand out as an independent children's bookstore. For a few weeks I cast about for just the right words to convey how I feel about children and books. See, I'm Scottish. My maternal grandparents both came from Scotland in the early 20th century. My grandpa, John MacGregor, was born in 1899 (we think), and he came to Ellis Island alone at 18 years and never lost his brogue or his Gaelic. When he would ask after his three grandkids, he'd ask me mum: "So today, are they wee bairns ... or are they wee beasties?" In the Gaelic, "bairn" meant to him most precious little child. Adored and rosy-cheeked beloveds, so tiny and rare — forgiven in advance for all their naughties. To my grandpa, "beastie" meant — well, the opposite — so it needs no translation. And thus PPB developed a logo for my new children's section based on my grandfather's love for me and my sibs, and featuring a watercolor my mom painted of MY three wee Koropp bairn/beasties, Hannah, Emma and Tom. You know it and I know it - books and lap-time reading tame beasties and soothe them in to bairns, so next time you're in, please visit The Wee Bairns. I'm pretty proud.
Last, now we had a new children's bookstore but an empty room — and it is in fact PRIME real-estate: a sun-splashed, window-lit space that begged for something essential to PPB. The fresh new-seeming room was full of potential, but I needed a few days to think about what to use it for. Once we placed an ocean-blue rug in the room's center, and a peaceful grey shelf near the gorgeous natural light — the room's purpose seemed clear to me: in this welcoming space we must put the books PPB is most passionate about. Books that every person walking into Prairie Path Books simply must see. The ones Jenny and me and our PPB Readers have recently read and vigorously recommend — the fiction and non-fiction that we would love to talk with you about. We call it our "Rec Room", and it features the newest best releases also.
So c'mon in soon out of the grey and in to the green and growing space of PPB. We can't wait to show you around!