Best Book Store (Independent) St. Louis 2010 - Pudd'nhead Books
Don't walk into Pudd'nhead Books looking for an indiscriminate hodgepodge of every book ever written on a particular subject, piled up like so many boxes of drill bits at the Home Depot. Owner Nikki Furrer and children's and young-adult buyer Melissa Posten have carefully edited their stock, so they sell only the most essential books in every category. And, oh, about those categories... Forget "Memoir" and "Thriller." Pudd'nhead has "Books by Really Cool People" and, in honor of Stieg Larsson madness, "Oooh, More Swedish Thrillers." Pudd'nhead's booksellers are omnivorous readers; between them, they've probably read just about everything in the store and are more than willing to chat about the book you're about to buy or, after a few astute questions, advise you about what you should read next. They're also open to suggestions; Furrer has added several books to the store's collection based on customer recommendations.
3 things will inevitably happen to me when I walk into Puddnhead. 1.)I will look for chocolate covered bacon caramel and be unhappy if it is not there. 2.)I will talk to Nikki for an hour when I meant to come in for five minutes. 3.)I will leave with a book that doesn't insult my intelligence or waste my time. Can't say that about the Big Boxes, who have entire wings dedicated to printed toilet paper.
This may be one of the finest sentences ever to grace a "comments" box: "Because saving 50% off retail for the latest crappy Mormon vampire story is not a "good deal," it's a sign that you've made some horrible mistakes in your life and ended up married to the wrong man." Thank You. We will meet in a small, ndependant bookstore sometime, I am sure. Over coffee. Peace :)
As for the other reviewer.....um, like the piles are organized into groupings and tables have themes and there are labels on the shelves....you were looking for neon or what?
I don't really understand, ab. The RFT was saying not to come into our store looking for every single book published on every single subject, piled up in huge piles. And they're right; we don't have that. We do have books piled on tables - the new adult books are displayed that way. And we do often have piles of boxes of books behind the counter (and sometimes spilling into the kids' section) because we have a ton of events and no stockroom. Is that what you're saying? Because the RFT's first sentence is 100% correct: we do not have stacks of every random book ever written on every subject piled up with no rhyme or reason.
(And the kids books are all arranged by age and then alphabetically - except for nonfiction, which can be a bit of a jumble, but is about to be completely restructured.)
Don't understand our rhyme or reason? That's fair. We'll happily explain it to you, and are always open to hearing ideas on how things might be easier to find. We've tried to arrange stuff as best as we can in the small space we have and if you're ever unable to find something you want, we want to know.
Nikki is my book sherpa, helping me navigate through the overwhelming mountains of crappy fiction to bring me the books that will change my life. As for piles of books, it's a bookstore people, how would you like the books arranged? On a sleek online web page with lots of customer reviews to help you decide which book is best? Yeah, it's called Amazon and you will never find a good book on their because all the reviewers are just frustrated housewives with no sense of style to save their soul. That's why the live in Ballwin and have Snickerdoodles as pets.The point is the public is a horrible judge of character. From Bush I and II to Jay Leno to Justin Beiber, the list is endless. You don't want Stephanie Meyer groupies telling you which book is 5 stars. You want Nikki. She's the Tim Gunn of books. And all those "piles of books"? Yeah, they're her piles of books and she put them there for a reason. Don't believe me? Just ask. And then prepare to give up your Amazon wish list. Because saving 50% off retail for the latest crappy Mormon vampire story is not a "good deal," it's a sign that you've made some horrible mistakes in your life and ended up married to the wrong man. See Nikki stat.
Interesting that the first sentence, "Don't walk into Pudd'nhead Books looking for an indiscriminate hodgepodge of every book ever written on a particular subject, piled up like so many boxes of drill bits at the Home Depot," has been exactly my experience every time I've visited. Don't get me wrong, I love my indies, and I love that another one has popped up, but this feels like a bit of misinfo to me. In any case, Congrats, Puddinhead!