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Silver Unicorn Bookstore to Open in Massachusetts

Paul Swydan, a former sports writer, is opening the Silver Unicorn Bookstore in Acton, Massachusetts, later this month.

The new independent bookstore aims to serve readers of all ages. In his weekly newsletter, Swydan has shared his hopes for making the store “feel warm and inviting” and having “the perfect mix of books — not only in terms of their category and genre, but also in having a selection that tries to represent our community.”

In addition to more than 6,000 fiction, nonfiction, young adult, and children’s books, the store will feature a mural by local artist Kirsten Louise Spargo.

New Stores for Walls of Books, Half Price Books

Walls of Books has opened a new location in Newark, Ohio, reported the Newark Advocate.

The third location in Ohio, the store will offer new and used books at discounted prices. “We promote local authors and work with schools. We sell used and new books and give either cash or store credit for recent college textbooks,” said Manager Bill Cochran.

Walls of Books is a franchise of Gottwals Books, an independent bookstore chain founded by Shane and Abbey Gottwals in 2007.

A new Half Price Books location is planned for Cincinnati’s Cherry Grove Plaza, reported the Cincinnati Enquirer, with a grand opening celebration scheduled for April 5–8.

“Cincinnati has been a great market for us since the early ’90s, so we were thrilled to find another spot for a new location in the thriving Beechmont area,” said Kathy Doyle Thomas, executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Half Price Books. “We’re excited to join many great restaurants and retailers in Cherry Grove Plaza and look forward to being a part of this community.”

Half Price Books, a family owned chain started in 1972, has more than 120 stores in 17 states. It sells new and used books, movies, and music and buys books back from customers.

Politics & Prose Flagship Expands

Expanded Politics & Prose spaceThis week, Politics & Prose announced the completion of renovations to the former dry cleaner’s next door, which the flagship store transformed into a new section featuring books on literary criticism, interior design, gardening, and DIY projects, as well as journals, greeting cards, and sale items.

Connected to the main store via an interior doorway, the space has floor-to-ceiling bookcases and a skylight, plus a separate checkout counter. Additional changes coming to the store include growing the children’s and teen department into the former sale area and adding new tables to The Den coffeehouse. A new awning has also been installed at the front of the store.

Behind the scenes, the store’s receiving room has grown and a number of staff are relocating their offices from a nearby condo into a portion of the new space.

Red Hen Bookshop Marks Second Anniversary

Laura Gibbons, the owner of Red Hen Bookshop, an online bookstore in Hannibal, Missouri, is celebrating two years in business, reported the Herald-Whig. To celebrate the store’s anniversary, Gibbons has hidden a dozen crocheted red hens in downtown Hannibal for customers to find.

“I was inspired by the determination of the Little Red Hen to do what she felt needed to be done against all odds,” Gibbons said. “The story of the Little Red Hen inspired me to meet a need for a full-service bookstore in Hannibal. Plus, it was an opportunity to use the business degree I got in college.”

The store, which updates its inventory two to three times a month, offers general-interest books as well as local and regional titles. Gibbons also said that she has received immense local support and hopes to open a brick-and-mortar storefront in Hannibal in the future.

Bookends & Beginnings Wins Fight Against Developer

In January, Evanston, Illinois’ Bookends & Beginnings asked customers to show their support for Sherman Avenue businesses, which were at risk of being displaced to make way for a high-rise development. “Nearly 50 independent businesses in all would be affected, half of which are woman or minority owned,” owner Nina Barrett wrote in a special message to customers.

This week, the Chicago Tribune reported that the high-rise developers, Farpoint Development and McLaurin Development, notified the newspaper that they were withdrawing their plans for the site.

Barrett said that many bookstore customers gave moving testimony about the role of the bookstore during an economic development committee meeting in February, and a circulating petition received more than 3,000 signatures from citizens.