Happy winter friends! I'm blissfully in the midst of my Jan-ual reading binge and this wintry weather is the perfect backdrop. This year more than others I've found my mind popping off the pages, wondering where to move my bookstore. If you're a regular PPB reader, you know we learned in September that our current space had been sold. Since then, I've been noodling next steps and you know me - they were not straight linear noodles like spaghetti. No, they were more like curly, twisty fusilli noodles, as follows:
After 5 years was it time to close up and move on?
If yes then what would I do with my considerable hyper-energy? Would I ever like anything as much as a bookstore? If no, then should I stay at Wesley for as long as possible?
If yes that means nothing to do for now - no moving and packing!! Yay! If no, then should I leave Wheaton since lots of towns want a bookstore?
If yes, then which ones and why? If no, then where in Wheaton would I find a new home to consolidate my two stores into one?
Now you see why my family and friends have noticed a far-off look on my face for weeks and weeks as I've fusilli'd these topics. Mid-way through the process though, my noodles began to straighten out and my path became more straight and spaghetti-ish. I've decided to move Prairie Path Books into the Yankee Candle Company space in Town Square Mall in Wheaton (on Naperville Road near Butterfield) and here's why: It feels like home to me. For a lot of you too, I've heard. Here are just some of my life-moments that took place at Town Square, which has always appealed because of its great location and size and parking, plus charming layout and look:
We moved to Wheaton in 1991 and I bought suits and heels (!) for work at Talbots and casual clothes at Country Road Australia (going way back) and then maternity clothes at Peapod;
I had coffee at Starbucks with my friend Annette while she consoled/counseled me re full or part-time or stay-at-home career + motherhood decisions;
My first outing with our newborn eldest was with my folks for breakfast at Egg'lectic (I remember struggling to unfasten Hannah's brand new car seat from its base and then crying frustrated, over-tired tears because I wanted to take a nice stroll around the Mall circle after, but I couldn't get the straps and buckles straight and the dang baby into the new “Bjorn”);
I clothed the kids at the Mall -- school and Christmas picture outfits from Gymboree and Talbots Kids and sports jerseys from Baby Gap for Tom - I vividly remember "graduating" from the 0-6 months section with each of my kids (well that's not true - it's a blur after Emma was born);
The Mall has always been "good exercise" from my Wheaton homes and I remember the beautiful day I strollered to the Mall with Emma on her sister’s first day of preschool, and then realized how short 2 1/2 hours really is and we had to speed-stroll home;
All my kids loved meeting friends at the Mall, it's a great first independent outing; and
The first conversation I ever had about really actually opening a bookstore took place with a friend at Warren's Ale House.
That brings me to the most relevant fact: Dave and I truly raised our kids at Borders, and Barnes & Noble which was in the Mall. Above is a picture of a two-year-old Emma, reaching for a book (in Metaphysics, strangely) at the Barnes & Noble circa 1999. When I say we raised our kids at the Mall, I’m not kidding. Yes, there she is wearing footie pajamas, because when you need a stack of bedtime reads, you GO and forget about what you're wearing. (Did we put the kids to sleep with Heidegger that night??) We spent hundreds of hours and I'm sure thousands of dollars in those bookstores - having no idea that they would move on and I would move in.
We ARE moving and that means finally the fusilli noodles are STRAIGHT as spaghetti, so purposeful and directed are we. I know you have questions, so here are answers in my last list for today:
When are we moving? Soon! Our lease begins February 1st, but first it needs to be painted and we need to pack;
Are we having a moving sale? YES, heavens yes. Starting today we are clearing out everything too difficult to move or that we don't have enough of to create a cute display in the new space — that means our bestselling items are at least 50% off, so strap on your boots and get over here for deals (selfishly you will lighten our pack/move chores);
Will there be a fun party? YES, but first Jenny and I are hosting our annual Champagne & Snowflakes book review party on Friday, February 8th at 1pm at Wesley, and THEN on Wednesday, February 13th at 6:30pm we will host the "I Love Books" Opening Bash in our new space;
Where do I go for events? All events after February 13th will take place at our store in Town Square where we will have longer hours once we move;
Gosh, we better get crackin'! My friends - I'm so excited. Thanks always, for everything.
"Never forget," a stranger said to me once in the lobby of the Midland Hotel in Manchester, "that only dead fish swim with the stream."
— Malcolm Muggeridge (1903–90) British journalist and satirist