There used to be a Sharper Image store on Jefferson Avenue in downtown Naperville, but it closed last summer. A few months ago, a construction walkway was put up around the area, and I’ve driven past it perhaps a hundred times without much thought about what was happening behind the plywood barrier.
Across the street from the building activity is the legendary Anderson’s Bookshop, one of the de rigeur book tour stops for many of my favorite authors. Last May, Cory Doctorow came to talk about his new book, Little Brother. He has dedicated each chapter to a bookstore he loves. The 10th reads,
This chapter is dedicated to Anderson’s Bookshops, Chicago’s legendary kids’ bookstore. Anderson’s is an old, old family-run business, which started out as an old-timey drug-store selling some books on the side. Today, it’s a booming, multi-location kids’ book empire, with some incredibly innovative bookselling practices that get books and kids together in really exciting ways. The best of these is the store’s mobile book-fairs, in which they ship huge, rolling bookcases, already stocked with excellent kids’ books, direct to schools on trucks — voila, instant bookfair!
123 West Jefferson, Naperville, IL 60540 USA
+1 630 355 2665
This evening, we stopped in at Anderson’s so my wife could pick up a gardening book. Until I looked out the window from inside the store, I hadn’t noticed the change in the construction area across the street. It turns out that we’re getting an Apple Store!
This is brilliant bricks-and-mortar marketing. People coming to Anderson’s to hear an author talk about their new book, or to have dinner at Lou Malnati’s (or both, as is generally the case when Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson come to town), cannot help but be drawn the store. And vice versa.
The Sharper Image store had the same advantage of location, but it was fairly dull. The Apple Store is shiny even in plywood.