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Gramercy Books Opens in Columbus, Ohio

Gramercy Books interior
Gramercy Books

This week, novelist Linda Kass opened Gramercy Books, a 3,000-square-foot general-interest bookstore, in the suburb of Bexley in Columbus, Ohio. Kittie’s Cakes, a Columbus bakery and café opening inside the bookstore on December 16, will feature Stumptown coffee and espresso, as well as wine, beer, and snacks.

“There is no better place than within the walls of a bookstore to foster communication and engage our communities,” Kass said. “Gramercy Books seeks to be that kind of community builder.”

Kass, who grew up in Columbus and is educated as a journalist, is the author of Tasa’s Song (She Writes Press), which was published in May.

John Gaylord, the store’s part-owner and general manager, has conceived, opened, and operated 24 bookstores throughout his 47 years in the bookselling business, including 15 Little Professor Book Centers.

A grand opening celebration featuring visits by children’s author R.L. Stine and poet Maggie Smith is planned for January 27–29. Ongoing events at the store will include story times, author nights, a songwriter series, and a monthly poetry night. The periodic Gramercy Salon@2424 program, tied to current books, films, and issues, will be held in partnership with area organizations.

Byrd’s Books Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

Byrd’s Books in Bethel, Connecticut, celebrated its fifth birthday on December 11 with a cookie exchange and a visit by author and baker Dorie Greenspan, reported the Brookfield Daily Voice.

Byrd’s Books celebrates five years with a cookie swap and visit by cookbook author Dorie Greenspan.
Byrd’s Books celebrates five years with a cookie swap and visit by cookbook author Dorie Greenspan.

Byrd’s owner Alice Hutchinson said of the cookie swap and anniversary: “We thought it was a good time to combine it for a birthday celebration. It was a great reason for people to bake.”

Greenspan, the author of the new Dorie’s Cookies (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), led a discussion about her new book. Cookie swappers each purchased an empty box for $10, which they filled with traded cookies. The proceeds from the box purchases were donated to the Danbury Animal Welfare Society, a local no-kill shelter.

“There is no place I would rather open a bookstore than Downtown Bethel,” said Hutchinson. “It is centrally located to towns that don’t have a bookstore, we are the only local independent bookstore in the area, and our customers are devoted to shopping locally. I look forward to many more years in the community.”

Chapter One Invites Customers to Follow the Sheep Trail

The Hamilton Downtown Association in Hamilton, Montana, launched the “Follow the Sheep Trail in Hamilton” event on December 9, a program coordinated by Chapter One Book Store owner Mara Luther, reported the Ravalli Republic.

Through December 16, community members are invited to hunt for hand-knit sheep hiding in downtown businesses and to fill in a form with the name of every sheep they find and its location. Completed forms will be turned in at Chapter One for the chance to win one of the sheep and other prizes.

“Kids really get into finding the sheep and discovering their names. We had one more store than sheep this year so we supplemented one of the sheep puppets,” said Luther.

The sheep were made by volunteers with the Knotty Knitters Guild of the Bitterroot, one of the sponsors of the event. Participating businesses include Art City, Main Street Toys, Big Sky Candy, Mikesell’s Fine Jewelry, Hamilton Gifts, Fords Department Store, The Wine Cave, and more.

Anderson’s Bookshop Hosts 11 Authors for NapervilleREADS

Matt de la Peña, Kathryn Otoshi, Tonya Bolden, Christian Robinson, Dean Robbins, Ruth Chan, Selina Alko, Miranda Paul, Duncan Tonatiuh.
Matt de la Peña, Kathryn Otoshi, Tonya Bolden, Christian Robinson, Dean Robbins, Ruth Chan, Selina Alko, Miranda Paul, Duncan Tonatiuh

On December 7, Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, Illinois, hosted 11 authors and illustrators for NapervilleREADS, a program that has celebrated literacy since 2002. This year’s theme was “United Through Story: What’s Yours?”

The free, public event, held at Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College, was a collaboration between Anderson’s and local public school districts, libraries, publishers, and the nonprofit Jumping Off the Page. Participating authors included Matt de la Peña, Ruth Chan, Christian Robinson, Tonya Bolden, Kathryn Otoshi, Bethany Hegedus, Dean Robbins, Miranda Paul, Duncan Tonatiuh, Selina Alko, and W. Nikola-Lisa.

Over the course of two days, the authors and illustrators spoke to all first and second grade students in the two local public school districts. They also participated in a special educator-targeted event for teachers.

Phoenix Books’ Partners With Vermont Foodbank

Phoenix Books, which has locations in Essex, Burlington, Rutland, and Chester, Vermont, has established a year-long partnership with the Vermont Foodbank to raise at least $25,000 through a series of fundraisers. In the first of multiple planned events, Phoenix Books will match customer donations to the food bank dollar for dollar, up to $5,000, between Thanksgiving and December 24.

After meeting with food bank staff, Phoenix Books owner Mike DeSanto said, “I realized that I could commit my business and the stores in four communities to doing something significant to help with feeding our neighbors in Vermont… Giving is simple and easy. All you need to say is I’d like to donate to the Foodbank and our staff will take care of everything from there.”

Customers at all four Phoenix Books locations can donate by purchasing ornamental coupons off of a giving tree located near or at the cash registers of the stores. Coupons come in $1, $3, $5, $10, or $25 denominations, but any amount can be donated.