The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

Owl Post

The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

Owl Post

The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

Owl Post

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Buying Books In KC

A review on some of my favorite places to buy books around the city
Brodi Gary
Some of the best bookstores in KC are the ones you may not think of.

For book lovers like myself, it can be hard to find good bookstores around the city. I would classify a good bookstore as having a wide variety of books, being organized and easy to get around and having friendly employees who are as passionate about books as I am. Here are my top five go to bookstores and how I would rank them:

#1. Barnes and Noble Leawood

Location: 4751 W 117th St, Leawood, KS 66211

Feedback: I have loved this bookstore since I got into reading about four years ago. This store is huge, with a large variety of books from every genre you could imagine. One thing that helps this especially is the signs on top of the shelves marked with the genre of the section. This store has a large customer service desk in the middle as well for any book questions you may have. Even though you sometimes have to wait for someone to be available, they always greet you with a smile and help you with whatever you need. 

What makes this Barnes and Noble far better than the one in Oak Park is the number of people here compared to the one in the mall. From my experience, the mall is always busy and you have to push through your way to the section you’re looking for. The one out in Leawood is so much more calm and I always find myself enjoying the smaller and more peaceful flow of people. 

#2. Monarch Books & Gifts

Location: 7713 W 151st St, Overland Park, KS 66223

Feedback: I found this store completely by accident. This happened after I was done going to Barnes and Noble, but didn’t want to be done book shopping. I looked into a store close by and found this gem. Monarch Books & Gifts, formally known as the Green Door Bookstore, is what you would think of when you picture a cute and local bookstore. It is smaller with adorable displays, vintage furniture and some bookish gifts on tables. Every single time I have walked in, I have been greeted with friendly smiles and reassurance that I can ask for help whenever I need to.

One thing that I don’t love about this store is the organization and general flow of the floor layout. If you don’t know where you’re going, you have to spend some time walking around and getting used to where things are placed. For me, this wasn’t a huge issue, but if you’re in a rush you will probably need to ask for help finding a certain book. Something that makes this store super special is that they regularly have book signings with authors like Lynn Painter and they have book clubs open for anyone to join. Even though it is a little far, I love this store. 

#3. Rainy Day Books

Location: 2706 W 53rd St, Fairway, KS 66205

Feedback: This store is the furthest away, landing you near the Plaza. Rainy Day Books is another example of a cute “Pintrest” bookstore that is small and locally owned. I think the layout is one of the earlier ones to follow. Similar to Barnes and Noble, there are signs directing people who are confused on where to go in the store. There is not a massive selection of books, but that’s to be expected because of how small the store is. Even though they may not have a certain book available, they provide the option to order it for you and pick it up in store.

It’s hard to describe why, but walking into this store gave me a good feeling. Maybe it was my book lover’s heart speaking for me, but there is nothing better than getting lost in my own world in a small bookstore. I was greeted with sweet smiles and if I needed help with anything. About 10 minutes later when I was in the romance section, an employee walked up and asked me what my favorite romance book was, if I had tried certain books and more. She even asked me if I would like to join her book club, which was super sweet. I can’t get out to Rainy Day Books often because it is far, but when I do go I am never disappointed. 

#4. Half Price Books

Location: 15309 W 119th St, Olathe, KS 66062

Feedback: Half Price Books is an interesting store and it’s pretty close by. Customers here can sell their books that later are put out on the floor for other people to buy. If you like to read books that have been “loved” a little, this store is perfect for you. For me however, I like to be the one to break in my books and red theme for the first time. Overall, the store is organized by sections with signs to help you know where to go so you don’t get lost. The selection is OK, but this store houses more older books than newer ones which can make it hard to find something trending or new here. 

The name Half Price Books sometimes confuses people when walking into the store. In reality, only some of them are half priced, while others one had a dollar or two knocked down from the original price. The first time I gave this story a visit, this was disappointing to me and made me feel like I was better off ordering on Amazon for the same price with a couple days of shipping. The employees are nice, but are usually busy organizing and working the counter to stop and talk to you. Overall, I would go back but I don’t have high hopes for the books in this store. 

#5. Target

Location: 15345 W 119th St, Olathe, KS 66062

Feedback: If you’re looking to be let down by a selection of books, this is definitely the right place. Target isn’t necessarily a bookstore, but their book selection is bleak to none. The only genre they really have is romance, but it is only the books on trend. If you have already read the books they have on the shelves, you’re not very likely to find anything new any time soon. There are signs in the aisles telling you where to go, but they’re kind of useless because of how easy it is to walk around anyway. 

As to be expected, you are never greeted when you walk in because of how massive Target is. The minute you walk in, you’re on your own. More often than not, I am walking out of the book section empty handed and disappointed. Target is great if you are shopping for something else and want to take a quick look at the selection, but it should not be the go to store for book buying.

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About the Contributors
Bryce Mallory, Editor-in-Chief
This is senior Bryce Mallory’s second year on the Owl Post staff. This year, she is excited to take on the role of Editor-in-Chief, in addition to being a writer for the newspaper. Bryce is involved in the National Honors Society, Quill & Scroll and orchestra. Outside of school, Bryce loves to read books, watch romcoms, and go to dinner with her friends. She is looking forward to new print papers and loves having a community of friends to work with every day in the newspaper room. 
Brodi Gary, Photographer
Brodi Gary is a Junior photographer for the Owl Post. She is involved in TSA, Public Safety, Kay Club, Uno Club, Feminist Club, Junior committee and Pre-Vet Club. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends and family, cooking and relaxing. Brodi is looking forward to pursuing her passion in photography through the Olathe West Newspaper. This is Brodi’s first year on newspaper staff and is excited to capture a billion memories in one photo. 

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