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Nook and Cranny Books: What if you read about a Capitol Hill bookstore for sale — and bought it?

(Image: Nook and Cranny Books)

A chef hoping to someday mix her worlds of food and books is starting with the book end of things on Capitol Hill.

“I joke that it was, ‘I guess I’ll just go buy this book store,'” Maren Comendant tells CHS.

It kind of was.

Comendant is the proud new owner of Nook and Cranny Books, a tiny shop along 15th Ave E. CHS reported on the decision in March by Kari Ferguson to find a new owner to take over Oh Hello Again after just over a year of business at the little bookstore where she introduced the idea of retail bibliotherapy to Seattle with a shop organized by topics — “mental health, everyday problems, bettering yourself, relationships, travel, and many more.”

Comendant bought the business including Ferguson’s stock and set about shaping her own shop. She has stuck with the the bibliotherapeutic organization saying she and Ferguson share “a very similar literary aesthetic.”

 

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(Image: Nook and Cranny Books)

“They are books I wanted to read, mostly,” Comendant said.

Nook and Cranny, evocative of both the cozy dimensions of the store and, to this writer and child of the ’80s, Thomas’® English Muffins, is “mostly about the books right now.”

Comendant, part of the city’s arts and drama scene and still working as a catering chef, said her original dream was a book cafe where she hoped to mix her love of the written word with food and drink. But, after seeing the article on CHS about the book shop up for sale and jumping in, she has decided to build from the bibliophilism end of things

“I do want to bring a more culinary angle to it but that might be more subtle than I first thought,” she says.

Nook and Cranny’s tiny dimensions are also a natural gate on ambitions.

“It is pocket sized, to be sure.”

But the size limitations also inspire creativity. As the business settles in on 15th Ave E, Comendant says she hopes to eventually add events that could spill onto the street around the store.

For now, she continues to work as a chef to make ends meet while also spending time behind the counter. Her sister fills in on the rest of the week and also, as an expecting mother, is helping to curate Nook and Cranny’s kids selections.

The store is also adding used books — “books which come with a history,” the new owner says — to its inventory.

Keeping the non-traditional organization style from the previous shop, Comendant says she is happy to see regulars returning to be part of Nook and Cranny. 15th Ave E, she says, has turned out to be a perfect start point for her journey in bookselling, with a steady stream of passersby and foot traffic in the busy commercial neighborhood.

And thoughts of a book cafe still linger even in this smaller, simpler form.

“I want to celebrate the stories in my community,” Comendant says. “More than what is is printed in the books.”

“My missión has not changed.”

Nook and Cranny books is located at 324 15th Ave E and is open Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 AM to 6 PM. You can learn more on the Nook and Cranny Instagram @nookandcrannyseattle.

 

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We love providing community news on CHS free for thousands of readers. What sustains the effort are voluntary subscriptions from paying supporters. If you are enjoying CHS, SUBSCRIBE HERE and help keep CHS available to all. Become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with no paywall. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.

 
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Rob
Rob
2 months ago

Excited for this!