Bookstore Extravaganza: Five Great Book Shops in Atlanta

“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.” -Neil Gaiman in his book American Gods

For this month’s “Books with Bean” I decided to review book stores instead of a book. I visited five local bookshops: Tall Tale Book Store, Eagle Eye Bookshop, Book Nook, Little Shop of Stories, and Half Price Books. The books and other fun trinkets at the stores could make excellent presents for friends and families. If you want to check out fun bookstores, or accomplish your holiday shopping, all five of these shops would be a good place to start.

Tall Tales Book Stop

The shop has a traditional bookstore feeling with wooden signs labeling the different sections. A cute kids section takes up the back corner, complete with a mini table where toddlers can dive into picture books. Also, the shelves surround the kids corner to make it feel more private and secluded. “I like Tall Tales [Book Shop] because they have good kids’ books, it’s more regional, and it’s smaller. Also, parking is easier.” said math teacher Amy Hannah. However, as the only customer in the shop at the time, I felt a little awkward whenever I made a sound. I did not want to disrupt the quiet or act disruptive.

On some days, a cute black kitty, named Christopher Marlowe or Kit for short, walks along the shelves and greets people as they walk in. As a smaller shop, it does not have every book you could hope for, but the prices fall in the reasonable range, not cheap but not pricey. All around, the Tall Tale Book Shop holds the title of classic book store and makes for a nice stop, especially if you need to buy recently released books.

Barnes and Noble vs. Bookshops: “I am more comfortable

with Barnes and Noble because there are more books. Howe-

ver, book shops have a more charmy feel,” said sophomore

Leyou Eyob.

(Photo by: Kathleen Hoover)

Eagle Eye Bookshop

The moment I walked into Eagle Eye, I knew I would love it. Cute and quirky t-shirts hung displayed on the walls with sayings such as “Want to be Cool? Read!” along with paintings of The Cat in the Hat. Other baubles, such as socks and calendars, also decorated the shop. Opposed to other bookstores, it felt lively and many people wandered among the bookshelves. As nice personal touches, workers in the store had written notes filled with fun facts and taped them on the book shelves. The workers also brought in their own Christmas decorations, including a creepy singing Christmas tree. The soft 80s music playing in the background added to the cozy feel.

The Robinson family opened Eagle Eye Bookshop about fifteen years ago and the family continues to run it to this day. The shop hosts author Q & As and book signings. Eagle Eye strives to help the community and donates a lot of their profits to shelters, elementary libraries, high schools, and other various charities. The store buys books from customers in exchange for store credit. Therefore, book shoppers can find both new and used books. “We fight tooth and nail to keep it organized,” said Jamille Christman, the Eagle Eye Marketing and Event Coordinator.

If you want to experience a welcoming bookshop, that even has a tea station in the corner, you should check out Eagle Eye.

(left) Wide Selection: Eagle Eye offers books from many genres. From classics, to a great children’s section, everyone can find the type of book the want to read.

(Photo by: Luis Vijil)

(right) Outside the Store: “When you walk in you see those books outside, all of those books are books we can’t take, for one reason or another. One hundred percent of that money goes to charity,” said Christman, Eagle Eye Marketing and Event Coordinator.

(Photo by: Luis Vijil)

Book Nook

When I think of the Book Nook, I think weird and quirky. On my first visit, I felt quite overwhelmed, with CDs in one corner, action figures in another, and winding bookshelves that you could get lost in. I kept walking further and further back and when I thought I had reached the end of the book section, an entire other room full of opened up full of hardcover books. I could easily find a nice corner amidst the bookshelves, stake out, and read for several hours without anyone bothering me.

The Book Nook sells everything second hand, so all their items sell for very cheap. This also means that inside the books you might find notations and comments that previous readers had written. Books range for $2.40 to $6.00. When the Book Nook first opened about forty five years ago, it only sold books. But it has since then expanded to sell legos, comics, vinyl records, and other knick-knacks. The Book Nook also sells comics for two dollars and I loved searching through their piano sheet music section. Finding a specific book at the Book Nook might prove difficult. The workers have organized the books into sections, such as Westerns, Romance, and oversize classics, but they still might not have the exact book you want. Considering how expansive their collection is,I would recommend going to the Book Nook if you merely want

to browse and discover a

book you’ve never heard of before.

What Makes it Unique: “I grew up in this store and we deal primarily in nostalgia,” said John Eggleston, a worker at the Book Nook. (Photo by: Luis Vijil)

Little Shop of Stories

Welcome to the most pinterest-worthy, adorable, and

kid friendly bookstore. If you go on a Saturday afternoon,

kids running around with books in their hands will greet you

along with adorable book themed decorations. The workers

painted the outside doors and windows with holiday

paintings and immediately catch the eye of anyone walking

by. The personal touch of handwritten notes from the workers,

explaining some of their favorite books, made me want to pick

up ten different books I had never heard of. I geeked out about

the restrooms labeling, “The Harry Potties” and the corner

where they had decorated it with a 9 ¾ station, complete with

a suitcase trolley halfway through the wall. In the back, a

room made for story time for kids or general playing added

to the kid friendliness.

Little Shop of Stories had the most expansive and adorable kids

section out of the five book stores I visited. All of the workers gladly

helped anyone who needed book recommendations and seemed

excited to talk about their favorite books. This bookstore felt lively

and homey, with the nice touch of a couple comfy chairs around

the store where people could plop down and read if they wanted to

try out a book before buying it. The books may cost a little bit more

, but the atmosphere of the store makes up for it.This stop was definitely one of my favorites and I can not wait to go back.

Station 9 ¾: For all Harry Potter Lovers, one corner of the shop looks like Station 9 ¾, along with floating candles hanging from the ceiling. Kids run in and out of the hole in the wall which leads them to another crawling space.

(Photo by: Kathleen Hoover)

Half Price Books

Half Price Books holds the title as one of my favorite book stores of all time. When I plan to stop by the bookshop, I set a maximum number of books I will allow myself to buy, and I always end up getting more. They have several carts around the store with two or three dollar books and the majority of the books have a price range of about five to eight dollars for paperbacks. All new releases get 20 percent off so that they remain cheaper than typical bookstore prices. Because the majority of the books they sell come secondhand, their book selection changes everyday. Therefore, if one day they have the entire series, such as the Lunar Chronicles, I’m tempted to buy all the books in case they do not have it next time I come by.

The workers always help me and do so with happy attitudes. The employees organize all of the sections very well and I can easily find whatever I’m looking for. I could spend hours in half priced books, jumping from the YA section, to their military section, over to their CDs and records. Also, because I visit the store so often, I know where to go if I need to look for a specific book. If you need to go holiday shopping for friends or family, I would recommend starting with half priced books, because if they have it, you will get a good deal. Or you could discover another book in the same genre that sounds equally as interesting.

Decatur Location: Driving from Half Price Books to Little Shop of Stories takes only five minutes so if you visit one, you should swing by the other. However, parking for Little Shop of Stories can prove difficult.

(Photo by: Kathleen Hoover)

Open and Spaced-Out: Opposed to the cozy feel of most book shops, Half Price Books has plenty of aisle space and does not feel cramped. However, throughout the store they have little displays that gives the shop a dash of the traditional book store feel.

(Photo by: Kathleen Hoover)

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