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City of Asylum Bookstore to Open January 14

City of Asylum, a nonprofit literary organization in Pittsburgh owned by Henry Reese and Diane Samuels, will open its new bookstore on Saturday, January 14, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. An opening celebration will feature a storytelling event for children.

Lesley Rains, former owner of Pittsburgh’s East End Book Exchange, is managing the bookstore, which will carry 8,000 titles by authors from around the world, including books by local authors, translated works, and titles from small and independent publishers. “It was a lot of fun to put this collection together,” said Rains. The children’s book section was organized by Jen Kraar, a middle-school librarian.

The bookstore’s building, an old Masonic hall called Alphabet City, also houses a broadcast studio; the remaining space will be home to a wine and cheese restaurant, Casellula @ Alphabet City, which will open later this month.

Bookmarks Signs Lease, Plans Partnership With Local Brewery

Literary nonprofit Bookmarks, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is partnering with Foothills Brewing to create a public gathering space, reported the Winston-Salem Journal.

In December, Bookmarks signed a lease for a 4,600-square-foot bookstore and meeting place that is expected to open on West Fourth Street in the city this summer. Foothills Brewing, which is located next door, is negotiating a lease that would add 5,400 square feet of event space to its restaurant operation. Foothills will supply coffee, food, and beer and wine to Bookmarks customers via a small café shared by both businesses.

Ginger Hendricks, the executive director of Bookmarks, and Jamie Southern, the operations director, currently run the nonprofit in a space at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts. The new bookstore will provide a venue for hosting authors and writers groups and increasing the number of literary events.

East Bay Booksellers Nears Fundraising Goal

DIESEL, A Bookstore owners and founders Alison Reid and John Evans are selling DIESEL’s Oakland, California, store to store manager Brad Johnson, who is raising funds for the purchase through community loans.

In a recent newsletter, Johnson said loan offers now meet 65 percent of his goal for the store, which he is renaming East Bay Booksellers. “There is still work to be done, but the response so far is the motivational kick in the pants to do it,” said Johnson. More information about the community lending process is available on the East Bay Booksellers website.

On February 5, DIESEL will host a party for East Bay Booksellers’ lenders to mingle and meet, as well as to sign loan documents and hand over checks.

In the newsletter, Johnson explained why he decided to purchase the store: “Because bookselling is where my past found its future. In other words, it turns out I was preparing for this role longer than I can remember, and am prepared now to see it through further than I ever would’ve imagined.”

East City Bookshop to Host Industry Meetup Following January 21 March on Washington

Laurie Gillman, owner of East City Bookshop in Washington, D.C., and Donna Paz Kaufman of The Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates are organizing a special meetup and celebration to take place at the conclusion of the January 21 Women’s March on Washington.

Book industry colleagues and their friends and families are invited to meet ahead of the march at the Court of Neptune Fountain at the front of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress at 10:00 a.m. 

At 5:00 p.m., the official conclusion of the march, East City Bookshop will host marchers for hot tea and cocoa followed by a poetry performance by human rights activist, editor, and poet Carolyn Forché. Poets Samantha Thornhill, Lauren Alleyne, and Danielle Chapman will also be present; a discussion with the audience will follow.

Details are available on the Women’s March on Washington – Book Industry Colleagues Facebook page.