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Plot Twist Bookstore to Open in Iowa

This April, Mary Rork-Watson will open Plot Twist Bookstore in Ankeny, Iowa, just north of Des Moines, reported the Business Record. The store will carry new titles for adults and children as well as gifts and will host community events.

“Whenever I attend chamber [of commerce] events or talk about my plans, people have been very excited about the store coming to the community,” said Rork-Watson.

Powell’s Books to Grow Hawthorne Location

Portland, Oregon’s Powell’s Books is planning to expand its Hawthorne Boulevard location, connecting its general-interest bookstore to its adjacent home and garden store, reported the Oregonian.

The expansion will take over the space between the stores, which currently houses a gourmet market, bringing the total size of the store to 23,000 square feet.

“I don’t think we ever imagined the opportunity to bring everything together,” said Powell’s spokesperson Kim Sutton. “That was never a consideration until this opportunity came up.”

The new space will feature a larger children’s section and an author events area. The renovation is expected to be completed by October, and both stores will remain open during the transition.

Bookshop Santa Cruz to Mark 50 Years

In honor of its 50th anniversary in business, Bookshop Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, California, is inviting readers and customers to share their memories and photos of the bookshop throughout the years.

“From the paperback revolution to the earthquake to the fight against national chain bookstores with thousands of author events along the way, Bookshop has much to remember and to celebrate. We are already planning a year of festivities to chronicle our history, thank our customers, and acknowledge the books that made it all possible,” wrote owner Casey Coonerty Protti.

Protti asked customers to share old store bookmarks and other ephemera, photos of customers at the old store before it was destroyed by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and afterwards, stories of the bookstore playing a role in their relationship with their significant other, or any other special memories.

Bookshop Santa Cruz opened in 1966 and has been owned by the Coonerty family since 1973.

Lake Forest Book Store Plans Move

Lake Forest Book Store in Lake Forest, Illinois, will move to a new location four doors south at the end of February, reported Daily North Shore.

“The space is a little bigger and it lays out really well for us,” said owner Eleanor Thorn. “I saw it was available and I went for it. Both landlords are being wonderful.”

Thorn noted that the bookstore will still be on Western Avenue, and that the new space will allow for a clearer division between the children’s section and adult books.

BookBar Named Green Business of the Month

Certifiably Green Denver, a department of the city and county of Denver, Colorado, has named BookBar January’s Green Business of the Month.

“We’ve spent the past few years making our business and building as efficient, sustainable, and environmentally friendly as possible,” said BookBar owner Nicole Sullivan. “We’ll continue to do so when we put in our garden, in which we will be growing some of our own food for our menu, in the spring.”

“This is a topic that doesn’t often get a whole of attention in the book world,” Sullivan added. “It’s important to green up our stores!”

Liberty Bay Books Customer Praises Store’s Magic

After spending several years ordering all of her books online, Sara Lindberg, a writer and book-lover in northwest Washington, recently visited Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo with her children and documented the experience for the Huffington Post.

“I was not expecting to have such an overwhelming response to a scattering of books when I stepped into this store. After all, it is just a store with books. Books that I can purchase anywhere,” wrote Lindberg about her first moments in the store.

As Lindberg made her way through the store, she recognized the sense of family and sense of community within, an ambiance that made her feel at home, and recalled how much her father, a banker, loved the experience of meeting and talking with customers — the human connection.

“Yes, the human connection is definitely present in every corner of this bookstore,” Lindberg said of owner Suzanne Droppert’s interaction with her daughter, who was trying to find a specific book based on the cover and minimal content. “Suzanne knows exactly which book she is talking about. I watch my daughter follow her. I see the excitement in her face. I sense the joy she is feeling right now, knowing that she is about to hold this beloved book in her hands.”

At the checkout, Droppert talked with Lindberg’s son in a way that “only a person who truly loves people would do,” wrote Lindberg. “I was in no hurry. Today, life was about slowing down and reveling in the magic of a small bookstore.”