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On Farnam Street and 25th Street, tucked next to Zen Coffee is The Next Chapter Books and Gifts, an independently-owned bookstore that sells everything from gifts to greeting cards to books (of course).  The store is filled wall-to-wall with books of all genres, shapes, and sizes. As you skim the shelves, you can find many classic titles, more unique books, and even a section dedicated to local authors. The shop also includes a cozy lounge with couches for customers to crack open their favorite book. 

Walking into the shop, a bell rings and you’re greeted by owner Shelly Mutum. She grew up in Hastings, Nebraska where her parents also owned a bookstore called Prairie Books & Gifts. She worked the bookstore her entire life and had always dreamed of taking it over. Last summer, after over 43 years in business, her mother decided to retire and Shelly had to make a decision where to go next. 

During this time, Shelly had been getting coffee at Zen and noticed for the first time that the space next door was for lease. After that, she knew this was the direction she wanted to go in.

“It was never an option for me to let it go. I couldn’t. It’s all I ever wanted. You could say it was in my blood to continue the family legacy. Thus, The Next Chapter.”

For Shelly, this spot on Farnam Street was exactly where she was hoping to continue her parents’ business. Along with the foot traffic that comes from a busy street like Farnam, the bookstore would also be situated next to a great coffee shop. The location is also placed in between downtown Omaha and Midtown, where it can get attention and visibility. The area deemed “Farnam Hill” is up and coming with plenty of new additions and more on the way.

While the store already offers many titles, anything you may want is available through special order. The Next Chapter also offers curbside pickup, delivery service, and mailing service for you to receive your book.

Another offering that makes The Next Chapter unique is that it has a liquor license, meaning you can shop around or chill on a lounge chair while sipping a beer or glass of wine. Two particular beers that you can enjoy while reading your favorite book are Kros Strain Fairy Nectar or Infusion Vanilla Bean.

Looking towards the future, Shelly is hoping to have more events at the store, but it’s difficult to know when those will be possible. She wants to offer bookstore yoga again and have other events such as poetry readings, author visits, book clubs, collaborations with other businesses, or game nights.

Shelly has a heartfelt message to the community:

“I can’t say enough about the customers and community that has shown their support for me and this store since I opened. I know I can’t thank them enough. It’s been truly amazing and I couldn’t be happier.“

Be sure to stop by The Next Chapter Books and Gifts to view their offerings, support a local business, or just to have a cozy environment to relax. 

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