Bookstore Blog Tour #5: Avid Bookshops

Our next stop on the bookstore blog tour brought us to Athens, Georgia, the home of The University of Georgia. If you’ve never been to Athens- it is a quaint little town that bleeds red and black, and Bulldogs comprise the bulk of the décor. I was a little nervous that they would sniff me out being that I graduated from their rival school- Georgia Tech, but this Yellow Jacket stayed undercover.

We were there to visit Avid Bookshop, a neighborhood store open since 2011. Since their inception they have made quite an impact in the bookish world, even named one of the top 5 bookshops in the U.S. by Publisher’s Weekly in 2017. Recently they opened a sister store by the same name in the Five Points in the community. So of course we had to visit both!!

The original store is located in a historic building between two streets with entrances at both ends of the store. The beautiful doors and large windows gave you plenty of book browsing natural light. I loved how inviting the space was just inside the “front” doors. Little gift ideas and seasonal displays to welcome you.

I also noticed (and personally love) how well organized every section of the store was, by genre and interest. Each chalkboard sign made it easy to find exactly what you were looking for. If you look closely you will notice the book lights hanging from the ceiling. These and the calming blue sky and cloud walls added a fantastical touch to the overall personality of the store.

We were greeted by a friendly and knowledgable staff person, Elizabeth, who told us about the store, informed us of their sister store not far away and gave us an excellent lunch spot suggestion. (GRIT) We learned of their book club program where they will actually send you a book every month. Very cool. Near the register I noticed something that looked a bit out of place. A bathroom door covered with sharpie graffiti.

Apparently this is where authors can leave their mark, signing the door inside and out whenever they visit. I thought this was an awesome idea and even spotted this drawing by Loren Long illustrator of the new LOVE book by Matt de la Pena. To be honest, I didn’t actually sign the door since my book isn’t actually out yet, BUT you can be sure I will be back later in the year! My book buddy Steen has two books in her trilogy available now and she DID sign the door. You can buy her awesome books here: The Door Keeper 

Of course you know that what I really interested in seeing when I visit a bookstore is the clever children’s book section. And Avid bookshop did not disappoint with this adorable hot air balloon reading nook! I just had to hop and take a ride! The collage pictures on the inside of the woven basket and the oversized pillows made this the perfect spot for a kid (or me) to curl up with a good picture book. The children’s books were also neatly and colorfully organized. This made me even more excited to see their sister shop.

Look how beautiful this store is! This location definitely had a different vibe from the other one- a bit newer and shinier if you will. Another great location in the Five Points community with plenty of foot traffic. I loved the welcoming chalkboard tent sign with a list of “Books that Have Changed the World” The store was beautifully laid out and the staff was once again very friendly as they made a point to say hello and ask us if we needed help. We needed help for sure because we wanted EVERYTHING in the store!

This time I went straight back to the children’s section and found another fun mode of book transportation…a boat! There were waves painted on the wall, blue lighted stars and moons inside the boat and red velvet pillows to sit on. A kid’s dream! Way to knock it out of the park AGAIN Avid for little readers. Very imaginative! Funny though-being a college town I never actually saw a child during our visit. 😉

Once again, I adored all of the gift ideas including their “I am an Avid Reader” t-shirts and bags. I would say our visit to Avid Bookshops in Athens, Georgia was a huge success! If you are ever in Athens don’t miss the opportunity to stop in BOTH stores and book browse to your hearts content.

Until our next bookish adventure!

-Bonnie

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