On a recent road trip my family and I stopped to visit Page & Palette, a great little independent bookstore in Fairhope, AL on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. I’d read a few reviews ahead of time, so my expectations of Page & Palette were pretty high. I’m happy to report that my expectations were not met, but exceeded. Page & Palette is absolutely worth your time.
From their website:
This third-generation family-owned bookstore has been a Fairhope landmark for over 40 years. Proudly seated in the heart of the downtown community, we are a host to a range of author events from local, up-and-coming names to block-busting celebrities. In addition to new (and used) books, we also carry greeting cards, journals, and a variety of merchandise. All of this over a cup of locally roasted coffee in Latte Da or a craft cocktail with a literary twist in The Book Cellar, it’s no wonder some of our customers never leave the store.
The bookstore itself is really two big rooms, the first of which contains well represented sections of history, religion, business, and local authors. There’s also significant space dedicated to fiction, clearly the main forte of Page & Palette.
There’s a space almost as large as the main part of the store dedicated to young readers. Yes, Page & Palette has made nourishing young readers a significant part of their mission and has everything from board books for your youngest readers to the latest teen vampire novel. Somehow my son managed to carry a stack of books our of the Young Readers section, while on crutches. It was impressive to watch.
For me, one of the hallmarks of a great bookstore are the details that only book people notice and appreciate. Like at the new Boerne Bookshop, the bottom few shelves at Page & Palette are angled outward to make it easier to see what they contain. Very nice.
Another nice detail from Page & Palette. Lots of handwritten book recommendations out and about from the staff.
Like many bookstores, Page & Palette features a lovely coffee shop. I didn’t venture in and didn’t get pictures, but my girls went in with 20 of my dollars and came out with smiles so I consider that a win.
Unique to Page & Palette is the “Book Cellar” which is a bar and live music venue. Sadly, I needed to get back on the road and couldn’t sample their offerings but it did seem like a great space that would be fun given the time.
The Page & Palette website has a great calendar of events showing both live music and author readings/book signings. The second floor contains the art section (“Palette”) but we didn’t make it up there this time. Again, I’m so glad we added the side trip to an otherwise long day. It was totally worth it and I can’t wait to return.
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