Here’s what’s happening in the world of indie bookstores this week:
- Busboys and Poets, a local bookstore and restaurant with multiple locations in Washington, D.C., is slated to open a branch in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. The nine-story, mixed-use building will be anchored by the restaurant, bookstore, and event space, and will feature two floors of office space, a fitness center, and more than 100 apartments.
- KiCam Projects, an independent publisher based in Georgetown, Ohio, has opened a 1,100-square-foot bookstore, KiCam Books & Gifts, in Mount Orab, Ohio, to serve suburban and rural readers on the outskirts of Cincinnati. The bookstore, which highlights KiCam Projects’ catalog of inspirational books, will celebrate with a grand opening on May 12, which will feature a signing of Digger the Hero Dog, the first children’s book by Benjamin Franklin Award-winning author Kilee Brookbank.
- Eight Cousins in Falmouth, Massachusetts, has reopened after the store’s ceiling collapsed in January due to water damage from a plumbing malfunction. The store held an open house on April 14 for customers to see the new space, which has been entirely redesigned, and officially reopened on April 16 with normal hours. Updated design elements include new floors, additional retail space, LED lighting, and a custom front desk.
- This spring, David Cheezem, owner of Fireside Books in Palmer, Alaska, handed the reins of the store over to longtime employee Mary Ann Cockle. Cheezem is retiring to a life of biking and backpacking trips, and Cockle has spent the past several months working toward taking over the store. “It’s going to be business as usual,” she said. “Hopefully no one notices.”
- River House Books in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California, has been purchased by the owners of local specialty chocolate chain Lula’s Chocolates, Scott and Jennifer Lund. The couple will take over the bookstore from Gordon and Diane Simonds, who are retiring, on May 1. An open house celebration will be held at River House Books on April 25 for customers to bid farewell to the Simonds and meet the Lunds.
- Rachel Cass, the head buyer for trade books at Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts, since 2013, now has an expanded role as buying and inventory manager, taking on responsibility for all merchandise buying for the company.
- Rakestraw Books in Danville, California, is celebrating 45 years in business this month. “I’ve seen customers grow up,” said owner Michael Barnard, who bought the store in 1995 from founders Brian and Mary Harvey. “We’ve played a role in their lives. That means this is a place to be known, to be recognized, to be and create community.”
- In celebration of its one-year anniversary since being sold and renovated, Breakwater Books in Guilford, Connecticut, will host an April 27 unveiling of a new poster of the Guilford Green created by local artist Kate Mercer. All proceeds from the first run of 150 posters will benefit the Women & Family Life Center, and all poster sales will be handled through Breakwater Books. “It’s perfect timing,” said owner Liza Fixx. “Independent Bookstore Day falls the next day and it also happens to coincide with exactly a year since our renovations and re-opening, so we thought, ‘What a great opportunity to launch the poster and celebrate being an independent bookstore and our renovated space.’”
- NPR’s All Things Considered profiled Ann Arbor, Michigan’s Literati Bookstore and owners Mike and Hilary Gustafson, who recently published Notes From A Public Typewriter (Grand Central), which highlights the many musings left on the bookstore’s typewriter. Also this week, WDIV featured an interview with Literati Bookstore’s event manager, John Ganiard, and linked to a fun YouTube video titled “The Literati Story.”
- On April 16, Maine Public Radio featured an interview with independent bookstore owners Samantha Haskell of Blue Hill Books, Josh Christie of Print: A Bookstore, and Ari Gersen of Longfellow Books, who discussed how their stores are thriving in Maine.
- Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore in Emporia, Kansas, is getting an Espresso Book Machine to print books on demand. “Knowing that our community was thriving with writers and people who appreciated history, I was looking for what I could do in the construct of the bookstore that would also help that group of people and stumbled onto the Espresso Book Machine,” said owner Marcia Lawrence.
- Pegasus Books in Oakland, California, has been named the best bookstore of Oakland and the East Bay by Oakland Magazine. The store has locations in Oakland and in Berkeley.
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