Monday, July 21, 2014

Bookstore Spotlight: Brilliant Books



Brilliant Books is an independent bookstore on Front St. in Traverse City, Michigan. They are located in the heart of the downtown shopping district- they've been there now for a few years and have really established a niche for themselves in the downtown area. From the moment you walk in it feels like you are entering a haven from the hustle and bustle outside. The store is peaceful and quiet, with hardwood floors and a large open area with couches and chairs to lounge in. It's one of those stores where they don't have everything- rather they try to carry the best of the genre as they put it- and of course they can order anything, if they don't have it. What they may not have in selection though they make up for in ambience- it just has a nice vibe to it, almost like a little coffeehouse shop.



Their children's section is quite good and very well stocked, and throughout the store are staff recommendations and helpful suggestions.
Among the services they offer is a Book of the Month Club, where you fill out a short questionnaire about your reading preferences and they then send you (or a loved one- great gift idea) a book every month, based on your responses. If it's a book you already have or don't like, send it back and they'll send you something else. They also work with book clubs and if you register your club or reading group they will make sure to have copies in stock and members get 20% off. I think it would be great to meet here and discuss books





Brilliant Books calls themselves "Your Long Distance Local Bookstore", as they realize that a large part of their clientele are the tourists who flood Traverse City every summer. They want to keep in touch with their far flung customers and do not charge for shipping, which I think is nice. They've come a long way from their humble beginnings and you can read a little about their history here, including the little story of how they spent their first Christmas in business without any shelves! It's a great story and I hope Brilliant Books remains a vibrant part of Front St. for many years to come. Their website is here and their Facebook page here. Their FB page in particular is worth checking out, just to see which authors have dropped in and the other cool stuff they have going on.


21 comments:

  1. Thanks Greg, for sharing the indie bookstore story and photos. I love to check out the charm and funkiness of other shops. I see they have all or most of Diana Gabaldon's books on a shelf, and I like those little dog dishes outside with water, and framed pictures for the doggies to read while taking a drink, lol! Enjoy your week.

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    1. You know, I didn't even notice the framed pics at dog level until I read your comment! The doggie dishes I noticed, but not the pics! How funny. Yeah it's a neat place, charm describes it well.

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  2. Love the doggie dishes outside! I have visited this bookstore a time or two!

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    1. Me too, it's a nice addition to Front St. isn't it? :)

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  3. Love to look at different book stores. I think the dog bowls is real inviting. I have always thought of owning a small bookstore. Like the movie "You've Got Mail".

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    1. I do too, I never found a bookstore I didn't like (well maybe once or twice). :) I always thought owning a bookstore would be the coolest thing, too. Would still like to someday...

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  4. Sounds like a great place, going to bookmark it for when we go up to Traverse City :)

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    1. It is, I hope you get a chance to check it out! :)

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  5. Wow, great review of an indie bookstore!! Brilliant Books sounds awesome and a bookstore I'd love to visit!!

    I also enjoyed viewing the pictures of this bookstore posted on your blog.

    Thank you for visiting and posting to my blog!! :-)

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    1. Thank you, it is a neat place. It was nice to catch a few snapshots of the place and they were super nice.

      I enjoyed seeing reading your bookstore post too!

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  6. I love the idea of a book of the month club! Very cool. Where do I sign up?

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    1. I like the idea too- you can find the info here http://www.brilliant-books.net/surprise-book-month

      The only thing is some of the options are a little pricy (more so than i realized when I wrote the post)- still might be a good deal if that's not an issue but I'm not sure I would do it. It's a neat idea thoug!

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  7. I love it! It's got nice ambiance, a great entrance, and from the sound of it, they're very customer-friendly. Plus they are doing some innovative things with that book-a-month club and all. I have no idea if I'll ever be in Traverse City, but if so, I'll look for them!

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    1. It does have nice ambience, that's for sure. It's just a nice quiet place to browse books. It's a nice addition to an already book friendly town!

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  8. What a charming book store! I love the comfy look it has and sounds like they have some great features - the book of the month thing is pretty cool. I love how there's all those dog bowls outside the store too - guess they like to supply dogs with water on their walks? LOL

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    1. It is comfy, I could hang out o that couch for hours if I had time! And the dog bowls are cool- several of the businesses actually do that and it's pretty cool!

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    2. That's so sweet that they do that for dogs...for different sizes too.

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  9. I read your post on this store yesterday and today I was on a different blog when I noticed the blogger actually works at Brilliant Books! I knew I had heard of that store before...Here's her blog: The Hiding Spot.

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    1. No way - really? That's very cool, I will go check her blog out right away!

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    2. Hey - that's me! :D Thanks for mentioning me, Jenna. And this whole post just makes me even prouder to work at Brilliant!

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  10. Greg, you should be writing travel books. Maybe a bookish oriented one like "Experience the Heart of America...Through Its Bookstores" or something. Your enthusiasm shows. Small indie shops generally don't have as wide of a selection but they make up for it with aesthetics and interesting gift items.
    Glamorous Book Lounge

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