Afterwords Has Found Its Forever Home!

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You may have heard the news that the bookstore is moving AGAIN.  We’re excited to officially announce that Afterwords will be settling into our forever home, thanks to Tom and Susie Beavers, who have offered to sell the building at 441 E. Vandalia ST (just across the street from our current location!) to us at a price we can afford.  Our new home, currently occupied by our friends at Bailey Cakes, boasts much of the same charm, with convenient parking, and promises to be as cozy and inviting a space as you’ve always enjoyed visiting.

Bailey Cakes is purchasing the bookstore’s building, which will house both the bakery and their family. We’re just trading places which means you can still enjoy the unbeatable combination of books and cupcakes!

You can help with the move by buying books, books, and more books!  Thanks to those who shopped with us at our Holiday Open House and visited on Small Business Saturday. Please think of us when holiday shopping. We boast thousands of gently-loved books for you to peruse, offer some great stocking stuffers (like the super popular, ever collectible Japanese Eraser Pets!), are proud to feature some wonderful one-of-a-kind gifts from local artisans, and did you know we order NEW books??  Why not let your favorite indie bookstore order the titles for all those bibliophiles on your list? You’ll enjoy FREE shipping (always!), complimentary gift wrap, and we’ll treat you to coffee, tea, or hot cocoa and Danish Butter cookies to nibble on when you stop by to pick up your order. Oh, and you’ll get the warm fuzzies knowing you are shopping local and investing in our community!

It goes without saying that every little bit will help;if only half our Facebook followers visited once between now and Christmas and spent at least $5, we’d have a cushion of $8,000 to weather the loss of revenue during the move and the inevitable associated expenses!

If you have access to copy paper boxes, please pass them along to us they make moving books just a little bit easier!

Oh, and keep those gently-loved books coming our way and continue to take advantage of our Trade for Credit Program!  We’ll need to keep our shelves stocked in the coming months so that folks have lots of treasure to choose from when holiday shopping!

Afterwords will be CLOSED December 24th-January 13th to facilitate the move. We’re very much looking forward to hosting a HOUSEWARMING PARTY and celebrating the bookstore’s new home with all of you on Saturday, JANUARY 14, 2017!

 

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*Happy Dance* (Part Deux!)

 

So super proud to have been named one of the 25 semifinalists for the 2015 ‘Independent Small Business Of The Year’ award!* You shared the link to vote with your friends and family and clicked once a day to get us there and we say thank you, thank you, thank you! We’re simply over the moon to have this honor because it comes from YOU. Time and time again you prove to us in very tangible ways that this little bookstore is an important part of our community, worthy of nurturing, that you want us to stick around.

It’s when you bundle up the wee ones and bring them in for story time, when you helped us grow our book and documentary clubs from a humble four members to a now boastful 20 plus film/book aficionados, when you haul those gently-loved books in to participate in our Trade for Credit Program, when you call and order your new books from us (rather than the big A), when you visit every chance you can squeeze in your busy schedule and tell us you love the new location and catch up with the day-to-day in your lives and ours, and, yes, when you buy a book or two, when you support a local artist by choosing a handmade greeting card or one-of-a-kind gift, and when you pick up that baby shower or birthday present at Afterwords.

As you may know, there is just one proud proprietor/bibliophile that owns this little book shop, so it may seem strange that I often refer to Afterwords Books as “we”. The “we” in Afterwords is, of course, all of you; our loyal and new customers alike, but it’s also the many, many people who believe in the bookstore and generously offer their time and support beyond measure. Your efforts, rooted in kindness and generosity, to fuel this little engine are greatly appreciated.  Tis the Thanksgiving season and so in no particular order, (as all of your contributions keep this little boat afloat!),  thank you to everyone who helped us pack up and move the bookstore (yet another time!) and helped with the costs of relocating this past year.  Thanks to the Reinhardt’s for being VIP customers, for being awesome book selling mentors,  for scouting out the perfect new location for the bookstore’s new home, for getting their hands dirty and beautifying our outdoor space, for tooting our horn whenever they get a chance, and going way above and beyond the call of duty as friends. Thanks to our entire story time crew! You and your little one’s have found a very special place in Miss LuAnn’s heart.  Thank you to old and new friends who act as social media enthusiasts, shouting our name from the rooftops and sending friends our way. Thank you for through thick and thin friends, who’ve been a shoulder to cry on, for being the best cheerleaders, for rolling up your sleeves and pitching in (when I call uncle! and admit there are times I could use a little help at the helm), and for your boundless support and contagious enthusiasm for our community’s independent book shop. Thank you to the circle of local merchants I’m so fortunate to call friends who inspire all of us to nurture our small local businesses that make our town one-of-a-kind.  Finally, thank you to my kidlets for taking countless dinners of pancakes, mom working way-too-many hours, and sharing our second home with the community in stride.

So, how cool would it be if our little indie bookstore was named ‘Independent Small Business Of The Year‘?? Just keep those votes coming (your eligible to vote once every 24 hours between now and December 13th!)  and we may find ourselves on the list of top ten small, independent businesses nationwide!  The winner of the Independent Small Business Award will be announced December 16, 2015.  Click to show the love.

*Some of you may read this post as a bit deja vu as we were named one of the top 10 finalists in the 2013 AND 2014 Indie Award.  We’re no less thankful for the outpouring of support and friends, old and new, we’ve made since then!

indielogo

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Wait. Why is the bookstore moving, AGAIN??

Dear Friends,

It has come to our attention that perhaps there is some confusion surrounding our upcoming move.  Though we worked hard to make our current location a permanent home for the bookstore, there have been a host of issues over the course of the last two years with our building on Buchanan ST.

Though our landlord assured us that our building was zoned commercial and, that as it had hosted businesses in the past, we would have the green light to go forward with housing the bookstore here, it proved to not be so.  In our excitement to move forward, we took him at his word, signed our lease, and began the moving process.  Regretfully, we were soon informed by the city that we would be facing numerous costly renovations in order to be ADA compliant which meant negotiating an increase in our monthly rental payments to assist with the necessary requirements to bring the building up to code.

Moving forward, we suffered a host of flooding issues in our basement and countless plumbing issues; the last of which was a collapsed sewer line.  The owner of our building informed us in early February that he would begin to show the property to potential buyers and, though we were panicked at first, wondering where we would be moving our store as well as our family (as we currently reside in the upstairs of the building) we began to see the silver lining in that the truth was that the constant issues with the building were contributing to higher stress levels and that, as our business continues to grow, we are quickly outgrowing our current space.

With an outpouring of support within our community, we were able to find a rental home that’s just a stone’s throw away from the bookstore’s new home for our family to comfortably live (we won’t reside in the shop anymore) and discovered a truly wonderful new location for your bookstore!

vandaliaThis is your bookstore’s new home, at 454 E Vandalia Street in Edwardsville!  It is absolutely gorgeous inside, with a breathtaking staircase at the entry and a beautiful stained glass window.  There are two fireplaces to cozy up to with a good book and a cup of tea and the the convenience of 14 parking spaces. The building is ADA compliant and just oozing charm from every nook and cranny.

With a fair amount of encouragement, we’re hosting a crowd funding project as a means to save the bookstore; to secure a new, warm and welcoming home for our community to gather and connect.  We’re not comfortable soliciting  donations but, rather, we’re offering rewards/incentives to those of you who are in a position to contribute.  No contribution is too small; every little bit will inch us closer to our goal.

The funds will be utilized to aid with moving expenses, a few months of carrying multiple rents, the security deposit on our new digs and the required deposits to the utility company, and to compensate for the inevitable loss of revenue during said move.  Our community has raised over $6,000 so far!  You can check out our fundraising campaign to see what wonderful goodies we’re offering in exchange for your support during this exciting, albeit financially stressful, time.

We’re looking forward to our new home but decidedly overwhelmed with the task of moving thousands of books, heavy bookshelves, and furnishings to the new digs.  The big move will begin Sunday, April 26th, and we’re hoping to have all shelves moved and in place by Monday, April 27th, so we can set about the task of unpacking everything and creating a welcoming, charming, cozy space for your bookstore.  Many have asked how they might volunteer to help with moving everything from Point A to Point B, so we’ve created a sign-up sheet!

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Our Customer Appreciation Day is Saturday, May 16th, and we can’t wait to share the new space with everyone, celebrate our 6th birthday, and, most of all, celebrate you and all you do to support our little bookstore!

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*Happy Dance*

SNOOPY, WOODSTOCK

So super proud to have been named one of the 25 semifinalists for the 2014 ‘Independent Small Business Of The Year’ award!* You shared the link to vote with your friends and family and clicked once a day to get us there and we say thank you, thank you, thank you! We’re simply over the moon to have this honor because it comes from YOU. Time and time again you prove to us in very tangible ways that this little bookstore is an important part of our community, worthy of nurturing, that you want us to stick around.

It’s when you bundle up the wee ones and bring them in for story time, when you decide to join us for Family Fun Night, when you helped us grow our book and documentary clubs from a humble four members to a now boastful 20 plus film/book aficionados, when you haul those gently-loved books in to participate in our Trade for Credit Program, when you call and order your new books from us (rather than the big A), when you visit every chance you can squeeze in your busy schedule and tell us you love the new location and catch up with the day-to-day in your lives and ours, and, yes, when you buy a book or two, when you support a local artist by choosing a handmade greeting card or one-of-a-kind gift, and when you pick up that baby shower or birthday present at Afterwords.

As you may know, there is just one proud proprietor/bibliophile that owns this little book shop, so it may seem strange that I often refer to Afterwords Books as “we”. The “we” in Afterwords is, of course, all of you; our loyal and new customers alike, but it’s also the many, many people who believe in the bookstore and generously offer their time and support beyond measure. Tis the Thanksgiving season and so in no particular order, (as all of your contributions keep this little boat afloat!),  thank you to the Kelsey family for your generosity and patience as we keep chugging along. Thanks to the Reinhardt’s for being VIP customers, for being awesome book selling mentors, for getting their hands dirty and beautifying our outdoor space, and for tooting our horn whenever they get a chance. Thanks to our entire story time crew! You and your little one’s have found a very special place in Miss LuAnn’s heart. Thank you to the friends I made while juggling a part-time job at the Glen Carbon Centennial Library and my commitment to our bookstore; to Amanda for working tirelessly on newsletters and flyers for mere pennies, to Ryan for piloting our Goodreads activity, documentary and book club events, to Michelle for her fantastic creative endeavors, and to Kevin and Katie Eagan (though they’ve flown the coop to Florida and just welcomed a tiny Eagan to the family) for countless hours of volunteer work, creating a logo for us and getting our website up and running way back when.  To the Orr’s, Natalie and the Robien kiddos, Nicole Plegge, Emily Kimmey, and the Nichols family for going above and beyond the call of duty as friends. Thank you to Ann Shirley Taylor, truly the ambassador for supporting local shops! I often joke that Ann is solely responsible for making sure we are able to pay our rent each month. Thank you to the team of social media enthusiasts (I’m talking to you, Emily, Julie, Lesley, Metroeast Montessori community,  Cate, Terry, Janel, Carol, Kristina, Priscilla, Katie, Jodi, Shannon….+) who like, share, and shout our name from the rooftops!  I could seriously go on and on but I do have to send a very special shout out to Rob Nunn and Jill Warner (for steering students and families our way), to the circle of local merchants I’m so proud to call my friends/cheerleaders, and to Katie Sjursen (for taking the helm and moderating our children’s book clubs).   Your efforts, rooted in kindness and generosity, to fuel this little engine are greatly appreciated.   Finally, thank you to my kidlets for taking countless dinners of pancakes, mom working way-too-many hours, and sharing our home with the community in stride.

So, how cool would it be if our little indie bookstore was named ‘Independent Small Business Of The Year‘?? Just keep those votes coming (your eligible to vote once every 24 hours between now and December 14th!)  and we may find ourselves on the list of top ten small, independent businesses nationwide!  The winner of the Independent Small Business Award will be announced December 17, 2014.  Click to show the love.

*Some of you may read this post as a bit deja vu as we were named one of the top 10 finalists in the 2013 Indie Award.  We’re no less thankful for the outpouring of support and friends, old and new, we’ve made since then!

indielogo

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Story Time Celebrations at Afterwords Books!

IMG_0552_1We had the honor of celebrating one very special little girl’s 4th birthday at Afterwords Books!  Princess Grace, her friends, and family, all joined us for a Royal Birthday Bash and much fun was had by all.

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Our princess and knight guests enjoyed dressing up in their fanciest finery, creating fun take-home crafts from Melissa & Doug, visiting our royal palace room for a majestic story time, and enjoying delicious treats at the banquet table.

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A special thank you to Bailey Cakes for the beautiful cupcakes, to Mike Nichols Photography,  and to Grace and her family for allowing us to be part of their special day!  Learn more about story time celebrations at Afterwords Books here.

 

 

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Here We Grow Again!

pilebooksThis?  This is what our foyer was starting to look like.  Well, minus the weird pigs, but, yes, our SALE books (older fiction-Patterson, Grisham, Clancy, Cornwell) were taking over.  I believe those in real estate would opt to describe our space as “cozy, charming, and quaint” and as we are all those wonderful things, it has prompted us to free up some of our valuable floor space for newer books and inventory.   You can now go treasure hunting online for older fiction, biographies/memoirs, horror and paranormal/urban fantasy titles, science fiction/fantasy, self-help, and religion/spiritual/philosophical titles!  We’ve been crazy busy entering inventory and have about 1,000 titles available and will continue to add books as they arrive.

Don’t get a chance to visit Afterwords as much as you would like but still want to support your local bookstore?  This is a brilliant way to shop from the convenience of home….see something from our online inventory that suits your fancy and want to come by the shop and say hello, pick up your book, share a cup of tea/coffee/cocoa AND skip the shipping cost and apply your store credit balance to your purchase?   Just give us a call, 618-655-0355, or send an email to lu@afterwordsusedbooks.com and we’ll happily pull the book from storage for safekeeping until you can stop by.   When you visit, you can peruse the newer fiction titles, the classics, history/politics, science, cookbooks, gardening, decorating, crafting, parenting and general reference, art, humor, music titles, and lots of children’s and YA titles that we’ll continue to shelve in house.   You can still follow our Pinterest Board and check out new arrivals, updated several times a week!

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Our Trade for Credit Program is still going strong!  Keep those gently-loved books coming our way and earn store credit toward your purchase of other used books you do want.  We’re especially thrilled to receive children’s, YA, history, science, classics, and any books that have been published within the last two years.

Another reason we’re busily rearranging the shop is to make room for the 100+ boxes of Melissa & Doug merchandise that arrived just this past week, and more is on the way!!  The 2014 catalog arrived and we there were so many items that we just couldn’t pass up- but where to display everything?  Cozy, charming, and quaint… remember?  Did we mention that we are creative when it comes to making our space work for us? We’re so excited to offer such great educational, high-quality, super-fun toys that go a long way in fostering creativity and imagination.  Need a special birthday or celebrating new baby gift?  We’ve got some great children’s book and toy pairings and, as always, we offer FREE gift wrap on all your purchases!

retrobdayFinally, the shop’s new look will also facilitate space for hosting birthday party celebrations!  We’re super excited to have booked our first party in April.  Our themed story time parties promise to be memorable events especially created for little ones between 3-years-old on up to age seven.  We’re offering your choice of Royal Birthday, Swashbuckling Pirate, or Circus Train birthday parties and would love to be part of your child’s special day!

Can’t wait for your next visit-please let us know what you think about what we’ve done with the space!

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Procrastinators, Rejoice!

snoopyprocrastinateStill navigating that naughty/nice list of yours?  No worries, we’re OPEN every day between now and December 21st, Monday-Friday, 10am-7pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm for your holiday shopping convenience.  As we empathize with our fellow procrastinators, we’re offering a buy two get one FREE promotion on all our Melissa and Doug merchandise and complimentary gift wrapping of all purchases between now and December 21st!

bookpresentOf course, we think books make the best presents of all and we have some of our most-loved holiday books as well as the new books on the top of bibliophile’s wish lists in stock but we’re much more than just books.  Check out the hand-selected, unique, wonderful gifts for the book lovers in your life.  Still looking for stocking stuffers?  We’ve also got some awesome little goodies to tuck into a sock or two!  Want to give the gift that always fits?  Afterwords has gift cards available and when you purchase $2o or more, you’ll be entered to win your very own reindeer!  One lucky winner will take ‘Rudy’ home on December 21st! giftcardrudy

closedAs a reminder, we’ll be closed December 22nd-29th to enjoy some time with family and friends.

December 30th/31st:  Save the Date!!  Be sure to check in with us on facebook on December 26th when we’ll reveal some fantastic post holiday sales on the 30th and 31st just for our facebook fans and newsletter subscribers!   secret1

Afterwords wishes you and yours a very happy holiday!

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