The Book Nook has moved multiple times since it first opened in downtown Canby in 2017 — but you could always find it (somewhere) in the Graham Building on the corner of Grant Street and Northwest 2nd.
But that is about to change. Come January (hopefully), the independent bookseller will be moving across the street, to an 1,850-square-foot commercial space inside the Caldera building — formerly known as Parsons Canby Pharmacy.
“It is exciting, but bittersweet,” said Book Nook owner and operator Megan Waterman. “Our current landlords have been incredibly supportive and encouraging from the very beginning of our journey, having been booksellers themselves in the past, and we are sad to be leaving them.”
That said, the Watermans are excited to be working with Caldera owner Daniel Godfrey and to be moving into a building that holds such a special place in the hearts of many longtime Canby residents.
“We know there is a lot of nostalgia with this particular location and hope that we can honor that by keeping the space alive with gifts and books and community,” Waterman said.
(Little-known fact: The display counters in The Book Nook are originally from Parson’s Pharmacy and Gifts. With this move, they will be returning home.)
The new space is about 500 square feet larger than the bookstore’s current location and — she believes — offers better visibility for a retail enterprise.
“The biggest complaint we hear from new customers is how hard it is to find us hiding on the backside of our current building,” Waterman explained. “We believe in the vision of a healthy vibrant small-town downtown and want to be a part of making that vision a reality.”
The new space, however, does need some work. The Book Nook hopes to replace the Parsons building’s original entrance on Grant Street (which longtime residents may remember, and which you can still discern from a careful study of the brickwork on the side facing that street).
They also hope to add more windows, a bathroom, new lighting and shelving, and are asking for support from the community via a GoFundMe campaign.
The community has long been a steadfast supporter of the independently owned store, which started out as a quite-literal “book nook” — a tiny footprint of unused space at the Graham Building — with the cash register located under the stairs (“Like in Harry Potter,” Waterman notes).
“Many of our customers have offered to help us over the years, emotionally, physically and financially,” she said. “We know this growth, especially during a pandemic, would not be possible without the absolutely amazing support of our customers shopping and keeping us going.”
For more information about The Book Nook, or to support their move, find their campaign at gofundme.com.
The Book Nook will complete the transformation of the former Parsons building, which was acquired by Caldera in August 2019.
Since then, it has undergone significant interior remodeling, carving out space not just for Caldera’s operations but also two commercial tenants.
The second space — accessed by what was Parsons’ main entrance — was filled by a local Edward Jones financial advisor earlier this year.