Readers World: A Spartan inside Athens

Each independent bookstore has a personality. It’s what draws patrons back, and leaves memorable experiences that you come to expect with each visit. The box chain stores struggle to create such a personality. It’s not the fault, usually, of the employees as the major chains maintain a brand where one who visits any of their stores would feel like they are in the same store. That is to say, that most items are located in the same place regardless of building. Of course there is some variance. So it was an interesting experience to enter the store that headlines this blog. It reminded me of a chain that is long since disappeared. That’s not intended as a criticism. I was a regular visitor of Waldenbooks. Now I found a place that I would not expect to be located in an area that exuded such a different personality–hence the subtitle.

Readers World: A Spartan inside Athens by John McCarthy, Twitter + Pinterest: @jmccarthyeds

Holland, Michigan is beautiful town that offers much for tourists who are looking for a quiet place near beaches and restaurants. The downtown area is a must visit place to browse the many specialty stores, ice cream + candy shops, and restaurants. Parking is plentiful and allows time for long walks and relaxing meals. An added bonus is checking out the local bookstore, Readers World.

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The store is located on a corner, with parking in the back. Entering, I’m reminded of the Waldenbooks stores that populated the malls. The appearance is spartan. The bookshelves are solid and functional. There is no thematic designs like The Java Script. The lighting is spare, unlike the museum elegance of Book, Inc. It’s not what I expected located in the trendy downtown area. But it’s straightforward style does not disappoint as the selection is easily navigated for any reader’s taste.

Books line every wall. The assortment crosses many genres so that there is a sampling of everything. The magazine section captures your attention as it’s huge, and covers many topics.

2014-08-18 16.52.41Readers World is a nice stop to browse books, check out possible purchases while sitting on a bench, and take a break from the heat or cold depending on the season.

On leaving Readers World visit one of the ice cream stores for a treat.

194 S River Ave, Holland, MI 49423

If you know an interesting bookstore, share. I might be in your neighborhood during my travels. I’ll be sure to visit. Maybe it’ll show up in this blog 🙂


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    • Kelly Bixby on October 16, 2014 at 10:10 pm
    • Reply

    John, your articles have made me take notice of each of the independent bookstores I come across in my own travels. I have to hold back from taking my own pictures…the stores are waiting for you.

    1. Please post the names of the places. Share pictures too. I’ll add the places to my list 🙂

    • Book Lover on October 7, 2014 at 7:26 pm
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    I also enjoy visiting bookstores during my travels. Can you imagine a world without bookstores?

    1. Like you, I could not 🙂

  1. I hope someday you’ll publish a list and ranking for all the indie bookstores you’re visiting… Why, you could write a book!

    1. Interesting idea about publishing such a thing, especially with Diana’s forthcoming post in 2 days. I don’t know that I’d rank them. When I talk to the owners they’re very open because I don’t critique their places, but introduce them to perspective new visitors. I do have my favorites. In a coming blog I’ll share about this interesting place I found in Greenville SC.

    • Claire Murray on October 3, 2014 at 6:37 pm
    • Reply

    I remember Walden Books. This sounds interesting. I think I’ll stop by the next time I’m there.

    1. Yes, that’s the bookstore I thought of when I first walked in.

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