Literary Travel – Milwaukee* Edition

*Ok, my literary travel was technically in East Troy, Wisconsin, but it’s still part of Metro Milkwaukee.

Hi Everyone!!

My husband and I went on vacation last month to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a couple of reasons. He wanted to go to Road America in Elkhart Lake to drive the latest cars, while I wanted to see a relative who lived in a village called East Troy – a 35-minute drive from the heart of the Cream City.

While I was chilling in East Troy, I wanted to check out the bookstore they have in the downtown village square as well as the local library. My relative and I checked them out on my last day in the area. All of the photos used were ones that I took.

First up is InkLinks Books!

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, InkLink Books is an independent book store that opened in 2017 inside a restored historic brick building. The bookshop contains wooden floors, black-painted wood bookshelves, tall round windows, and upscale lighting. Owner Kayleen Rohrer and her family did the restoration work on the place itself.

The aesthetics that stood out the most were the fireplace and the murals of four Goddesses of Wisdom from Greek, Norse, Egyptian, and Hindu mythology.

In that same article, Rohrer mentioned that books evoke a feeling, as she claimed, “The objects make you feel a certain way. Your feelings lead to your thoughts…Thoughts lead to your behavior, that leads to who you become.”

This explains the homely nature of InkLinks. The store certainly made me want to curl up by the fireplace and read a good book. Another aspect that invoke the cozy-like atmosphere was the music. The bookshop played a lot of classical music – a good choice I may add, to encourage people to focus on what they want to read. One of selections was called “Inferno Violin” – a piece that I recognized as the music for the YouTube channel Musical Hell (check out her stuff, it’s great!).

Of course, I can’t go without mentioning some of the more quirkier decor like a sliding ladder, a green rabbit statue, and leftover Christmas items.

The bookshop offers a variety of items. These include books in various genres, that cover almost every topic imaginable, and for all ages. They also have puzzles, gift wrap paper, cards, candles, and glasses.

It consists of two levels. The lower one contains adult fiction, young adult novels, and juvenile titles. The upper one, which only takes a few steps to get to, primarily consists of adult nonfiction ones.

While InkLinks is a small store, it was easy to walk around. Everything was spaced out just enough, so customers like me could navigate it without accidentally bumping into books or another person (sorry Arcadian Books & Prints).

While there, I bought the juvenile graphic novel The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza by Mac Barnett. It looks very silly, and I like me some silly books. I can’t wait to read it!

All in all, InLinks Books is a bookstore that evokes the homely environment perfectly. Everyone knows everyone there, and I even got to know some of the regulars. It’ll make customers want to snuggle up on the couch by the fireplace and read a book with classical music playing in the background. Along with their website, you can find them on Facebook and Instagram!

And now, the second and last spot of the trip: the East Troy Lions Public Library!

The East Troy Lions Public Library is about 10 minutes from the downtown village square. It’s located in a building that was once owned by the local Lions Club – a humanitarian organization. In the past, it housed a youth center. The Lions Club later donated the building to the village, and the village turned it into a library.

According to the staff, it’s not much of a browsing library since it’s a small building. This explains why there were only a few chairs that people can sit in. A lot of patrons like to primarily place holds and pick up them up. It has a neat system for doing that. The workers at the front desk place covers of new books on the back wall to show patrons what’s new every month.

The library offers the things one expects to have for patrons to borrow like books, DVDs, music CDs, audiobooks, video games, magazines, and newspapers.

They also have their Summer Reading program going on now, and they got some cool prizes!

Tami Bartoli – the director – also took me down to show me the lower level, where they shelve the extra library books and DVDs as well as items they’re looking to discard. They keep them along the walls and in an extra room by the doors. It’s a roomy space, where they have meetings and storytimes at. In addition, it’s sparsely decorated with various paintings from the Picturing America series.

I also want to point out that they have a physical card catalog!

Every library has something that allows people to give back to the library. This is no different from the East Troy Lions Public Library, as they include a basket, which people can put their Piggly Wiggly receipts in. One percent of their grocery bills goes to the library. That’s a neat idea! It helps that it’s located next to the doors to the library’s main level.

Overall, the East Troy Lions Public Library is a nice and small library that allows patrons to get what they want with ease. It may not be in the most stunning building, but it gets the job done. I was able to maneuver through the library with no problems, and everything was labeled clearly. Along with their website, you can find them on Facebook and Twitter!

And that concludes of the second installment of “Literary Travel!” I hope all of you had a fun time on this trip. There will be another one possibly coming later on this year!

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Published by emilymalek

I work at a public library southeast Michigan, and I facilitate two book clubs there. I also hold a Bachelor's degree in History and Theatre from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI; a Master's degree in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI; and a Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration also from Wayne. In my downtime, I love hanging out with friends, play trivia and crossword puzzles, listening to music (like classic rock and K-pop), and watching shows like "Monty Python's Flying Circus"!

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