Holiday windows at Left Bank Books celebrate the new children's book area that was created during a recent renovation the bookstore won in a makeover contest.
I consider myself a book snob, i.e. I like to hold a book in my hands. That snobbery started to crack yesterday when I viewed the latest in eReaders, the kobo, which is available only at independent book stores like Left Bank Books. After playing with the display, above, and seeing how lightweight the device is, I began to understand the advantages to having one, not the least of which is price, $79 for the kobomini and $129 for the koboglo.
There was article in the NY Times Arts Section earlier this week about how well independent bookstores are doing this holiday season, which Left Bank confirms is the case, and specifically how popular the kobo eReaders are. One of the not-so-obvious benefits to Left Bank Books connected with the purchase of the kobo is that no matter which independent bookstore you order your next ebook from, Left Bank Books gets the credit. Sounds like a winner all the way around.
Yesterday Danielle Borsch, Events Coordinator, gathered a selection of staff members' "best book suggestions" for me, including Spike the house-cat's favorite, How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you, which I trust will not keep cat owners up at night, $14.99. Apparently there's a cat thing going on at the shop. Another favorite is for comic lovers, Cat Getting out of a Bag, $12.95, and Spike may have been the one to suggest the highly touted game Bird Bingo, $12.95, for ages 4 to 100. Christmas at the Toy Museum by David Lucas, $15.99, is a favorite for young children on your list.
If you are into cooking you are probably aware of Deb Perelman, author of this season's hot cookbook, The Smitten Kitchen, $35.00. The cookbook grew out of Perelman's very successful blog, smittenkitchen.com. The self-taught cook with a teeny tiny NY kitchen has quite a following, and has recently been interviewed on NPR. Another title on the Perfect Gift tower at the entry to the shop, above, is sure to be appreciated by the Literary Snob, "Object Lessons" The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story, $16.
While I was taking pictures and making notes yesterday I overheard a conversation between Danielle and a young woman discussing Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, $26.99. They agreed that it was a fabulous read–"best book of the year", etc. etc. I have always loved getting this kind of information from other customers, and from staff picks (review them here), which are always worth a look.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid, Fri. & Sat. 10 to 10, Sun. 11 to 6, Xmas Eve 10 to 6, (314) 367-6731.
Eye Roc Eyewear's beautiful window is another stunning entry in the 2012 Window Walk Contest. If you haven't voted there's still time, the contest ends Saturday.
Eye Roc is offering a 20% discount on all lenses until the end of the month. An optometrist is available Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Eye Roc Eyewear, 28 Maryland Plaza. To make an appointment call (314) 361-9900.
Food gifts are always well received during the holidays. Straub's, a fixture in the neighborhood since the late 40's, is reaching out to customers through Facebook to pass along savings on certain items in the store at 302 N. Kingshighway. Gift jars of Straub's Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix are $9.99. If you "like" Straub's on facebook, you'll get $3 off.
Manager Dave Barry said that "prime" prime rib at Straub's is now $19.99, $4 off the regular price until December 31, while supplies last.
Bissinger's Santa Lollies are usually $2.99, but if you "like" Straub's on facebook, you'll get one free.
Straub's offers a large selection of non-food gifts for the holidays including Michel Designs products, above, $4.99 for festively-packaged soaps up to $19.99 for other bath products.
Straub's also has a large selection of attractive Caspari holiday paper goods including dessert plates, napkins, and guest towels, $4.50 to $6.00.
Straub's, 302 N. Kingshighway, open everyday. This Sunday, the 23rd, the store will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed at 5pm Xmas Eve, (314) 361-6646.
And now a few more shots of holiday window displays. First, Wolfgang's Pet Stop, 330 N. Euclid.
Designtex (to the trade) wreath at 4731 McPherson, above.
The colorful painting hanging at the Philip Slein Gallery, 4735 McPherson, above, has a festive holiday air about it…..looks like Christmas to me.
Llywelyn's Pub at 4747 McPherson.
I end this series of posts with the holiday windows at Herbie's, 405 N. Euclid. Each window has a different quote, some are very familiar, like the one above,
and some are a mystery to me…perhaps you can clue me in.
Have a Merry Christmas and be sure to support the neighborhood shops and restaurants this holiday season!