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Booksellers Take Tour of Michigan Indies

Booksellers Emily Galer, left, and Zoe McKinney return from a bookstore road trip.
Booksellers Emily Galer, left, and Zoe McKinney return from a bookstore road trip.

Booksellers Emily Galer and Zoe McKinney of Schuler Books & Music in Grand Rapids, Michigan, are back from a five-day road trip of independent bookstores in Michigan.

“We have traveled a lot of miles this week and it was an amazing journey! Thank you to all of the incredible indie bookstores that hosted us along the way! Watch our page over the next week because we’ll be posting how to get entered to win the roadtrip giveaway bag soon!” the booksellers posted on the store’s Facebook page.

The traveling booksellers gave regular updates on Facebook along the way that included photos of the stores they visited.

T.J. Moore, buying department administrator for Schuler Books & Music, said the idea for the tour sprang up during the ABA’s 2017 Winter Institute. “We wanted to feature the strong independent scene here in our state and get some good staff picks from elsewhere for holiday displays focusing on bookstore tourism in Michigan,” Moore said. “The trip will culminate in a customer giveaway for all the books we buy on the road as our final event celebrating our 35th anniversary this month.”

Books & Books Expanding in Florida

Books & Books of Coral Gables, Florida, is expanding its reach in Southeast Florida with stores in Pinecrest and Coconut Grove.

The store at Suniland Shops in Pinecrest opened as a pop-up in May, and will hold a grand opening party for its permanent arrival on December 3, according to the Miami Herald.

Cristina Nosti, director of events and marketing for Books & Books, told BTW that the Coconut Grove store will open in a building owned by a Peruvian architect named Bernardo Fort-Brescia, who founded the well-known Miami firm Arquitectonica in the late 1970s. “Our goal is for this to be a bookstore with a wine and beer bar,” Nosti said.

In addition to its stores in Southeast Florida, Books & Books also has satellite locations in Key West and the Cayman Islands.

Queer and Feminist Bookstore Opens in Mississippi

Violet Valley BookstoreViolet Valley Bookstore has opened in Water Valley, Mississippi. “Violet Valley Books will be, as far as we know, the only queer and feminist bookstore in Mississippi. We will encourage readers of all ages and kinds to explore narratives outside the mainstream. By providing a safe space for exploration and creative expression, we will build on the message of the ‘Hospitality State’ and tell the world, ‘Welcome, Y’all,’” the founders wrote on their Kickstarter page.

The Violet Valley Bookstore is set up as a nonprofit, and is accepting tax-deductible donations of used books.

The Daily Mississippian student newspaper in Oxford, Mississippi, spoke with Jaime Harker, president of the bookstore’s board, who reported that the store is subletting space in an art gallery.

Staffed by volunteers, the store is currently open Fridays and Saturdays and will hold a grand opening in the new year. “It will have a large stock of used books that cover a wide variety of topics, and it will have a smaller run of new books that feature feminist and LGBTQ authors. I hope that readers will discover authors and ideas that fire the imagination,” Harker told The Daily Mississippian.

Magic City Books Opening in Oklahoma

Magic City BooksMagic City Books is opening in November in the Brady Arts District in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, reported Tulsa World. The independent bookstore’s owner is the Tulsa Literary Coalition, a nonprofit corporation that also runs BookSmart Tampa, which hosts author events.

The store will specialize in literary and popular fiction and narrative nonfiction for adults. It will also carry children’s and teen books and have a café where customers can relax with a cup of coffee or glass of wine.

The proceeds from book sales will support the programming by the Tulsa Literary Coalition. “When you buy a book here, you’re doing something good. We offer something you won’t get any other way,” Jeff Martin, founder of BookSmart Tulsa and president of the board of the Tulsa Literary Coalition, told Tulsa World.

Bookery Manchester Set for Spring Opening

The Bookery Manchester, a new independent bookstore, will open in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire, in spring 2018.

The store’s owners, Liz Hitchcock and Liz Cipriano, are making plans for the bookstore to have a children’s room, space for special events such as live music, and a café, according to the New Hampshire Business Review.

“We’re hoping it can be a real hub for downtown Manchester. We recognize there’s a lot of great restaurants to eat at and cute shops on Elm Street, [but] it’s really missing a real center of the street and community,” Cipriano told the Business Review.

Eureka Books Celebrating 30th Year

Eureka BooksEureka Books of Eureka, California, is hosting a 30th birthday party for itself on November 4 and offering customers a 30 percent discount between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m., reported the Eureka Times-Standard.

The bookstore is promising “cake, games, and more” for customers who come during the celebration. On its Facebook page, the bookstore has been entertaining customers with #30YearsofStaffPicks, counting down to 2017.

“We want to say thank you to our customers, Humboldt County’s intelligent and inquisitive readers,” co-owner Scott Brown told the Times-Standard, “along with our bookselling friends both old and new.”

Indie Bookstores Help Seattle Become UNESCO City of Literature

The United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated Seattle as a City of Literature, making the community part of the Creative Cities Network. Seattle is the second city in the United States to become a City of Literature after Iowa City, Iowa, earned the designation in 2008.

Seattle’s “thriving independent bookstores” were among the literary resources highlighted in a press release from the Seattle City of Literature.

“The UNESCO honor demonstrates what makes Seattle such a great book town. Every literary organization in the city (libraries, bookstores, writing programs, etc.), as well as many authors in our local writing community, worked together to help make this bid happen,” said Robert Sindelar, managing partner of Seattle’s Third Place Books and president of the American Booksellers Association Board of Directors.

Third Place Books, along with several other independent bookstores, is on the City of Literature’s Advisory Board.

“The camaraderie involved in this group effort was extraordinary. I am proud that the wealth of independent bookstores in our city and region continues to be the heart of the Seattle book world,” Sindelar said.