“Fiction on the left, nonfiction on the right; the signs are being made,” a slight man in an apron—who turns out to be owner Drew Cohen—explains to his first customers.
A lot is still in process at Downtown’s new bookstore, the Writer’s Block. But books are on the shelves, the refurbished neon letters that spell out “shop” are alight, and the store mascot (a rabbit known only as “the Baron”) munches a lettuce leaf appropriately near the cookbooks.
Although I was expecting a crush of people at Saturday’s opening, what I found might foretell even better things for this small store with big ambitions: a steady stream of serious customers. Everyone who comes in the door, from the security guard who was just passing by to the UNLV dean I spotted, seems impressed. That’s probably because the Writer’s Block is wearing so many hats. Cohen and his partner Scott Seeley plan to offer fun classes like “make your own comic book” as well as having onsite bookmaking and letterpressing.
What makes skipping Amazon so worth it, though, is the surprisingly diverse selection of curated books and the custom help finding the perfect one. They’re stocking funny how-to’s like My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag, imaginative works like Fictitious Dishes, best sellers like the new Jodi Picoult and artbooks like 1000 Record Covers at reasonable prices (an artbook for $20, for real?).
For those of us who fell in love for the first time between the paper pages of a book, it means so much to have this spot in the neighborhood.
The Writer's Block 1020 Fremont St., 702-550-6399. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.