Cicada Books and Coffee offers community a tranquil environment


Sarah Rowe

Cicada Books and Coffee provides a calm atmosphere for the local community.

Offering its own twist on the traditional bookstore experience, Cicada Books and Coffee, located in Huntington’s West End, gives the community a place to relax.  

“Instead of being like a fast food coffee shop like Starbucks that seems impersonal, people come to Cicada for the experience.” Stephen Alavesos, a barista at Cicada Books and Coffee, said. “It’s a very relaxing atmosphere that most coffee shops lack. Even as an employee, it’s not a lax job, but it’s a relaxing environment to be a part of, and we all try to avoid making anything feel like a stressful situation.” 

Cicada Books and Coffee is filled with vintage and antique decor and furniture, including a typewriter and old-school record player. Though there are some new books, the majority offered at Cicada Books and Coffee are donated, making the community an integral part of the business. 

“I wanted to create an environment where even on your worst day, you know you have a place of comfort to come to,” Don Norman, owner of Cicada Books and Coffee, said. “It’s not your conventional coffee shop, but it’s also quiet enough to implement a library environment. We see a lot of Marshall students come in, especially once the school year starts, because it has comfortable seating and a quiet atmosphere to study in.”

As midterms approach, Marshall University students are finding places off campus to study and work in. 

“After I’ve spent all day at classes, I don’t always want to stay even longer on campus just to do homework or study,” Kaitlyn Arnold, a Marshall University senior, said. “I can come with my friends, grab a drink, connect to the Wi-Fi and finish schoolwork, without feeling like I’m obligated to be there.”

Aside from the drinks and decor, Cicada Books and Coffee offers a venue for book clubs and children’s book readings. 

“I bring my granddaughter here with me because she loves the activity center,” Mary Wellman, a Huntington resident, said. “I can sit on the couch and enjoy a cup of tea, while still keeping an eye on her while she reads and plays. This place feels like the perfect fit for the area it’s in. Cicada Books is near all the antique shops, which adds to the overall feel of the business because it feels like it is a part of the street.”

Cicada Books and Coffee offers accommodations for different demographics, as it is a member of the city’s Open to All Campaign and is organizing multiple events throughout the month of October. 

Sarah Rowe can be contacted at [email protected].