DiversionsFeaturesLife Style

A New Chapter

By June 27, 2019 No Comments

By Meda Kessler
Photos by Meda Kessler

When we get word that a bookstore is opening, we get a little giddy. While Barnes & Noble soldiers on against the online giants, the independents have had to wage a bigger battle. Commonplace Books out of Oklahoma City is doing just that, and in early June, opened its second location, a pop-up in Fort Worth’s WestBend shopping center. Ben Nockels is one of four CB founders, a group of friends who decided to open a bookstore. “We wanted to invest in our urban community; we live and work here, as do a lot of our family and friends. When we asked them what they’d like to see in the neighborhood, a bookstore was high on their list.” Commonplace opened in 2017 in Oklahoma City’s Midtown area. “We’re all lovers of the written word, but my partners entrusted me to curate the selection,” says Nockels, who wanted to steer away from just offering bestsellers and classics. “We offer newly released titles in a lot of different categories, from kids books to cookbooks to fiction.” Browsing and reading is encouraged in the airy, well-lit space created by designer Sara Kate Little of Sara Kate Studios in Oklahoma City. The painted shelves, concrete floors and emerald green sofa defy the typical pop-up space. (Commonplace is committed to a year in Fort Worth at the very least.) Artwork has been chosen by Emily Ladow Reynolds, of OKC’s Anonyma Fine Art, who sources original drawings and paintings from around the world. There’s a smattering of paper goods, candles and pottery for sale, too.  It’s not your typical bookstore, but browsing, having a coffee brewed in the shop’s Chemex and hanging out is just fine with the staff. “We created a thing that we all wish existed,” says Nockels. “A lot of people suggested Fort Worth, and we want to listen to customers and make it their store.” A storytime for the little ones already is in progress (see sidebar). Look for more events in the future. WestBend (across from HG Sply), 1701 River Run, Fort Worth, 405-269-4840, commonplacebooksokc.com. — Meda Kessler

Curated artwork also is for sale.