Not too long ago, I visited Lafayette, Louisiana and took some time to wander around the local Barnes & Noble bookstore. I always check out the Fiction & Fantasy book sections and, while I knew it was a longshot, I was hoping they'd have a novel from the Shadowrun universe, "Never Deal With a Dragon" by Robert N. Charrette. They didn't. However, I did find some cool Star Wars dice!
I also found an interesting book in the Art section. While I was at the check-out counter, the sales clerk asked me if I had a background in painting.
"Actually, I'm trying to learn more about painting. I paint miniatures for a hobby"
"Oh yeah? What kind of miniatures? Like dollhouse miniatures?"
"Actually, more like tabletop gaming miniatures. Like wargaming and stuff like Pathfinder and D&D"
"Nice. Have you been to that comic book store here? They have wargaming nights every Wednesday. It's a book shop but they sell other stuff there too. It's actually just right down the street..."
Less than fifteen minutes later, I was parking in front of "And Books Too". I walked in to find many free-standing standing shelves of books, including literature classics like "The Odyssey" and "How To Kill a Mockingbird" toward the front with a wide selection of graphic novels toward the back. Along the left and back wall were comics galore. While I missed the wargaming night, this Thursday was fairly empty other then a few high school age kids sitting at a table, in a heated discussion over the finer points of a new comic book release. The glass island in the middle of the store housed competitive card game booster packs, dice, candy-- all that good stuff. At that point, I glanced at the right wall & I spotted paint supplies next to a wide selection miniatures. YES! I headed straight for the paint merchandising display. It's like being at a party in a sea full of strangers when you spot someone familiar. You make eye contact, smile and think, "Oh good! A friend" while you greet them first before mingling with new people. Same thing for me and the hobby store paint rack, though it's mostly a one-sided conversation. "Hmm, I already own this paint. Ooh, I don't have you yet!". This time I chose a few metallic Formula P3 paints and Citadel Technical paints:
I ended up buying a few Pathfinder comics as well. There's some great character art and miniature color scheme inspiration in these (and Reaper makes a great Pathfinder miniature line)! I could spend many hours in here finding new books, comics, graphic novels, and miniatures. I even thought of bringing my traveling paint set-up and hanging out at the shop. While I'm rarely in Lafayette, I visit this store every time I'm in town. On another visit, I met a nice local fellow who was browsing the D&D 5th edition bookshelves. I asked him how he liked the new edition (they had just converted their characters from 3.5 to 5th). We chatted for a bit, and he invited me to join his group's game. "I would, but it may be a long drive for me. I'm visiting for work and I live 4 hours away. I appreciate the invite though!" I left with the D&D 5th edition Rulebook determined to inspire the change in our 4th edition group (we converted last month & I recommend it).
Seriously, for being described a comic book store (which they are no doubt!), they have a lot of gaming hobby supplies. When I travel, I search stores on Yelp with the keyboard "hobby" and they didn't come up since they're listed solely under "Comic Books". Thanks to the guy at Barnes & Noble who told me about it-- I'm really glad I discovered "And Books Too"!