by Christine Baker

If you asked me what are some of the loves of my life, I would most certainly tell you Jesus, my husband, my three boys, gardening, cooking, and last but certainly not least, reading books.

I know it’s somewhat of a lost art today, but it has remained one of my favorite things to do throughout my life.

My love for reading started early. One might think it began with the prodding of the local library when they offered a little studious student a summer reading club, luring me to their bookshelves with prizes of a certificate, little plastic toys and a handful of candy. This might have sealed it for me had it not been for an almost catastrophic event previously at the age of four. I came down with a nasty strep infection that led to Rheumatic Fever which led to Rheumatoid Arthritis and a heart murmur.

I was one sick little girl who was suddenly unable to walk very well so my bed and the sofa became my world and books my companion. I even read encyclopedias from our family bookshelf. Not able to fully understand all the words, I was not deterred. I lived in the pages and absorbed what I could. Books became my friend and filled my hurting world with hope that more life was to come.

I’ve carried that love of reading well into adulthood. It’s never left me. My house is riddled with shelves loaded down with books of various kinds. For a long time I resisted the urge to read online, preferring instead a hard copy book I could touch, smell and mark-up. But the last few years I’ve caved a few times and read online and found it’s not so bad after all.

To my surprise, I happened upon a new bookstore in my area the other day. Yes, I did let out a little shout of glee of jubilation. I immediately walked in and the smell of new books hit me head-on. “Ahh,” I smiled and said, “my happy place.”

As I perused the shelves, I let my finger run along the spine of a few books all the while wondering what compelled so many people to write, edit and publish ideas such as these. Excitement grew inside of me as I anticipated reading many of these words. I couldn’t contain myself and loaded my arms with, you guessed it, books.

This new bookstore is called The Book Nook, a Christian Bookstore and Gift Boutique located at 6025 Monroe Highway in Ball, Louisiana. Their web address is in case you want to order online. The owner and manager is Jessica Lachney, a young entrepreneur who was inspired and led by God to step out in obedience and faith and start her own business and subsequently saw all the pieces fall into place.

The store is a Lifeway Distributor and offers a wide variety of Christian books and gifts, including a coffee shop with seating and a special little place inside that she calls “The Gathering Room,” a room set aside where individuals can take, read and return used books.

The “Gathering Room” will have a quarterly bargain bin sale with books going for $1-$3 with some of the local proceeds going back to the community. Her advice for anyone wanting to start a business is: (1.) Pray. (2.) Do market research and get professional advice. (3.) Utilize the help of others.

My discovery of this budding new business in our area proves the good book is right. God does give us the desires of our heart. How do I know? My bookshelves and my heart are full.

As always, when given the opportunity to shop, buy local. Oh, and when you have time, take a little drive over the Red River, just a stone’s throw away to Ball and check out The Book Nook, where you can grab a coffee, a treat and sit for a while and read. Oh, and tell Jessica I sent you.

Au revoir, mes amis!

Christine Baker

P.S. I’m a local writer and author (Who Am I? 31 Days to Discovering Your Identity in Christ, found @ the Amazon Bookstore) who loves all things Louisiana, gardening and Jesus, although not necessarily in that order. You can connect with me on Facebook at Christine Vidrine Baker, From One Woman’s Heart to Another on Facebook and Instagram or at

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