Neal, John Neal.

When a friend sent a link to show me a desired calligraphy pen at an online vendor I was impressed that a place with such a large stock of this specialized merchandise existed. A second surprise happened when I looked at this stores contact information and I found they were located in the city I work in. A few days later I trekked there for a look in person.

I didn’t know if they had an actual storefront so before going I checked and found reference to some clearance books being “next to the door”. That’s all I needed to see since where there’s a door there is a way in. I’ve not seen the door that can keep me out yet (unless it is locked or heavy or had a confusing latch that I couldn’t make work)!

John Neal, Bookseller does sell books on drawing, calligraphy, typography, bookbinding, and more. Beyond that they carry the things you need for binding your own books and creating lovely lettering. All this is packed into a small, funky warehouse like environment that zigzags through the first floor of an old commercial building. It’s not really a “store” so to speak but they still let customers wander around and look. I had fun pulling books off of the shelves in the narrow nooks and the staff was friendly and helpful.

It’s probably more convenient to order off their web site and you are not missing out on any memorable retail experience but seeing a small, hospitable business firsthand at least made me happy. I took a few quick snapshots to share the experience and the claustrophobia with you.

Along some of the walls are hung items mailed to John Neal with special flair. Click on the images below to see it in close up.

Neal Letters 1

Neal Letters 2

  1. Leigh
    March 12, 2010, 7:26 pm

    Claustrophobia be damned, I lurve that shop! Thank you for the pictures. So awesome. 🙂

  2. March 12, 2010, 7:29 pm

    Nice. There’s office supply here in Honolulu like that. The building is constructed from corrugated metal and shelving inside is industrial steel. I thought when two major chain office supply stores opened nearby, they would lose some business…no! When Fisher Hawaii’s newspaper adds come out, the line from the parking lot extends out onto the street.

    They do have an art section!

  3. March 12, 2010, 7:57 pm

    Oh, man, I could lose full days in there…

  4. March 13, 2010, 9:13 am

    oh what a dreamy shop~! i love it!

  5. TAO
    March 14, 2010, 11:54 am

    I’m glad everyone liked the record of my little trip. I kept thinking how great it would be to own a little place like that. 🙂