Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shopping Independent

This past Monday Musings got me thinking about where I shop for my books. Because it's handy, and because I get almost daily coupons via e-mail, I shop at Borders. Yes, it is overstuffed with junk other than books, but I can always find what I want once I dig my way through the candy, fuzzy pencils, calendars and posters. Sometimes I will make an impulsive book purchase at Target now and again as well. But what about the independent bookstore? I was excited about the idea. I know they usually carry a more eclectic selection of things to read, which is right up my alley. They generally provide better customer service. But I've never seen one in all my wanderings around Orlando. So I went on a mission yesterday, and here is what I found:


The name of the store is Urban Think. It is a delightful little place, situated in downtown Orlando, in the hip and happening neighborhood of Thornton Park. (You want to hear the crazy thing? I can walk there from my kids' school!) As you can see below, they have comfy little places to curl up, they have wireless access of course, some nice unplugged music in the background, and under the same roof, a bar called "Infusion Tea" where you can not only get some great hot or cold herbal tea (free with book purchase), you can also have a glass of vino. OK, so why would I want to leave this place?







From browsing their website here, I see they have frequent events, signings, etc. You can shop online as well as in person. They guarantee their online prices are $1 over Amazon, which is fair. If you spend enough each year on buying online, you consider signing up as an Online Urban Thinker for $79, and all your shipping is free. This will also grant you 25% off your in-store purchases. Hmmm...that would be like opening Pandora's box for me!

I vowed that if I purchased anything, it would be something that contributed to my reading challenges. I walked away with Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" for my classics reading challenge, and Elie Wiesel's "Night" for my WWII reading challenge.

So I got out of my comfort zone yesterday, and I'm glad I did it. I intend to do a little more exploring around town, and see what else I can find!

16 comments:

Melody said...

Look what you've found! Another bookstore! ;D

The place looks cozy to me. I want a bookstore like that where I can just read, have a cup of coffee/tea at a little cozy corner and people-watch at times. Sadly, I haven't come across one near my place. Our Borders do have a cafe but it seems a little commercialized to me...

Thanks for sharing this with us, Sandy!

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

How fun to go exploring and discover such treasure!

I wonder if they have kids events you could take your children to; walking distance to school, very nice!

Dar said...

How awesome! It looks great. Our big chain here does have little areas set up but it just isn't the same. I'm so glad you found this for yourself.

Gavin said...

What a wonderful find! We are lucky in Seattle, we have many independent bookstores, some with great cafes.

Literary Feline said...

I love the name of the store: Urban Think. And it looks like a cozy place to visit and shop.

Kathie Smith said...

I'm lucky enough to have a friend who owns a bookstore. (Guilt free buying when it is going toward your friend's business.) I'll admit to occasional out-of-print/way-too-effin'-expensive-to-buy-new purchases from Alibris, but other than that, all my book biz goes to Micawbers. Independent book stores are a dying breed that need our support. I could do a soap box speech about supporting independent locally owned business, but I will save that for some other time.

They just started a little bloggy-poo themselves. Check it our here: Mr. Micawber Enters the Internets

(Oh, and San, you will be envious to know that there is a cute little wine shop right next door!)

farmlanebooks said...

That looks like a great book store - I hope you find lots of great books there!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Melody - Borders is OK...better than a stick in the eye. Maybe a bit overpriced without those darned coupons.

Dawn - I didn't photograph it, but they have a wonderful kids section, with little kid-sized chairs and everything. I'm going to keep my eyes open for kid events for sure!

Dar - You are right, it just isn't the same. I'm on a mission to find more. They must be there somewhere, just hiding.

Gavin - Yeah, you guys have it all going on out there! The whole state is hip and happening!

Wendy - It is definitely cozy. I'll be going back, perhaps for the glass of wine and the couch!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Kath - oh, there is no better excuse to spend when it is your friend's place! I have a friend that owns his own wine store...don't even get me started! I have heard you talk about Micawbers. I'll check out their site!

Jackie - they don't have a huge selection, but what they had seemed quality.

Beth F said...

What a SUPER store. Lucky, lucky you. If I'm ever in your area, you'll find me in that store!

violetcrush said...

This is such a cute little store. I always go around looking for new bookstores, especially when I am at a new place. It's so much fun. Glad you found this place...

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

I wish we had cool bookstores where I live. Unfortunately that is a major drawback of a small town.

I love Night! It is on my keeper shelf.

The Bumbles said...

See what fun you can have when you wander off exporing instead of walking around on auto pilot? I was just thinking the other day that I have never been past my street in our neighborhood - I hear there's actually a lake a few streets down ;0)

I hated On The Road and loved Night. Extremes are good for the brain.

mattviews said...

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am that you have found this jewel of an indie! Woohoo! You can always stop by on the way home after picking up the kids.

As you might have known by now, I love indies and will always support my local indies. They're bookstores with an edge, depending on the owner/staff's taste and favorites. I am sure I'll hear more about this place, right? :)

Sandy Nawrot said...

Beth - I knew there had to be something good out there that I wasn't finding. I am inspired to find more!

Violetcrush - that is a great habit of getting into. I'm going to try to remember to do it more often!

Melissa - having grown up in a small town, I know what you mean. The best thing we had going for us was a cute little country library.

Matt - I'm definitely keeping tabs on this place. I have a manic, hectic pace usually, but I need to take the time to go over there and treat myself. I will give updates! BTW, you have been inspiring me to do this for ages. I know you, like my sister, and big indie people!

Iliana said...

Yay, congrats on your indie find! I love shopping at indie bookstores and am lucky that I have several around me. I still go to Borders & B&N because of the coupons though. Sigh. It's tough.