Local book store owner adds fun to home deliveries

Cinnamon Dokken brings books to people's doorsteps since her book store must close to walk-in...
Cinnamon Dokken brings books to people's doorsteps since her book store must close to walk-in traffic during the pandemic. She often makes her deliveries in costume. (Source: Cinnamon Dokken)(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Apr. 24, 2020 at 9:29 PM CDT
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Small businesses around the capital city are having to get creative with how they operate during the pandemic. A local book shop is doing so by entering into uncharted territory: book delivery.

A Novel Idea has been a downtown Lincoln staple for nearly 30 years, but because of COVID-19, the store is empty and closed to walk-in traffic.

"You know, this is really hard on a lot of people," said Cinnamon Dokken, owner of A Novel Idea. "They've had to drastically change their routines, and there's sort of an implementation gap because everybody's had to change dramatically how they do business, the ways we do school."

Now, customers have new ways of getting their book fix.

"We process orders over the phone, we do curbside pickup, Wednesday through Saturday 12-6, and I do twice weekly deliveries in Lincoln," Dokken said.

But, they aren't just any delivery. Dokken comes dressed in a "book fairy" costume with her trusty dragon sidekick.

"I didn't start doing costumes until I was on a delivery and a man said, 'I told my kids the Book Fairy was coming,' so I thought I should do this for all the little kids who get books," Dokken said.

Dokken said books are needed now more than ever.

"Books can help you travel when you can't leave your house, and they can take your mind off things that are stressful and we want to make sure we're serving that need in the community," Dokken said.

While business may look a little different, Dokken's goals remain the same.

"We believe strongly in our sense of community here, and that what we do as a community is far more than we could ever do ourselves," Dokken said.

Despite taking a bit of a hit in business because of the pandemic, A Novel Idea is making sure to give back. Among other fundraisers, the store is collaborating with other local businesses to create a "Where's Charlie?" story based on one of the store's beloved cats.

Those books will go on sale May 6, and will be $20. Proceeds will go to Lincoln's Headstart program.

"At times like this, that's when you really want to lean in," Dokken said. "You know, we're not going to abandon Headstart during this time. That's when they need us most."

Whether it's hand delivering books or investing in local non-profits, Lincoln's Book Fairy is really making magic happen.

When the pandemic is over, Dokken said the long nights and labor-intensive projects will be worth it, because what she'll remember most is the smiles on faces as she brings books to doorsteps.

A Novel Idea keeps customers up-to-date on all fundraisers and activities on its

That is also where you can find the store's contact information if you'd like to order books or have them delivered to you.