In a move up from middle school — we all have to move on sometime, I guess —Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney is opening a bookstore in Plainville, Massachusetts. Yes! The author, whose hilarious book series has more than 150 million copies in print (plus a highly successful corresponding movie series), will be expanding his repertoire from writing about Greg Heffley's middle school problems, to owning a pretty awesome shop. And from what's being said about it, we all need to go.
According to the New York Times(who have posted an awesome preview video of the place, FYI), Kinney asked fellow author-turned-bookstore-owner Ann Patchett (owner of independent bookstore Parnassus Books in Nashville) for advice on opening bookstores in small towns (Plainville, outside of Boston, has a population of around 8,200). I, for one, can testify that if Kinney's store is half as perfect as the pristine, packed shelves of Parnassus, he'll be doing pretty well.
And it sounds as if he is doing well, because the features he's got planned for the bookstore — which will be called An Unlikely Story (LOVE IT) — make this store sound like it's going to be a lit lover's paradise. Kinney purchased an old building in town (which once housed Falk's Market, a local grocery store) and is using the site for his new bookstore, which will both honor the history of the space and add a new spark to the community.
But that's just the outside of the store. Plans for inside features include:
- Books (the No. 1 most exciting part, obviously)
- Books that look like they're dancing above everything
- A café
- Quidditch matches above the children's section
- An event space for author talks, karaoke, and CARTOONING CLASSES
- A kitchenette by the event space where kids can get juice, and adults can get beer and wine
- A secret passageway to Kinney's studio, where people can see him working...and if he's not there, kids can check out and hold his awards, which include a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award
- A 500-pound statue of Scrooge McDuck
I don't know if this store could possibly get any cooler, but since I'm on the topic, there are a few other features that I would like to propose:
- A dish at the café called The Cheese Touch
- Books available for purchase with Mom Bucks
- Performances in the event space featuring the band Loded Diper
- A store dog named Sweetie (there's a dog in Parnassus Books, so I don't think I'm asking too much here)
- A huge portrait of Shel Silverstein, as drawn by Jeff Kinney
Images: 20th Century Fox (2); woodleywonderworks/flickr