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Duende District Bookstore Coming to Washington, D.C.

Angela Maria Spring, a bookseller of Central and Latin American descent who formerly worked with Politics & Prose and other indie bookstores, is planning to open Duende District Bookstore in Washington, D.C., with the mission of creating a high-quality, welcoming bookstore for people of all backgrounds. Spring launched a Kickstarter campaign on April 10 to raise $9,000 for initial supplies to hold pop-up shops while in search of a permanent home.

“Sixteen years of working in both corporate and indie bookstores from one end of the country to the other has showed me that our communities, especially in D.C., have a deep need for an authentic general bookstore space built from the ground up by bookstore professionals who are people of color — but where all people are genuinely welcome,” Spring wrote on her Kickstarter page.

“Building Duende District is part of my resistance effort because I know it will touch, enrich, and empower many who need it,” said Spring. “Love, truth, and inclusiveness are the goals. We have to find a way to bridge the divides that are meaningful so we can heal with each other. That’s why our motto is ‘Todas las voces’ — ‘All voices.’”

Read With Me Opens in Raleigh

Children’s bookstore Read With Me opened on Friday, April 7, in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, reported WRAL. The opening coincided with Raleigh’s First Friday celebration, so the store offered extended hours and craft activities.

Owner Christine Brenner, who previously worked as a teacher and a school librarian, has opted for an unusual shelving system at Read With Me: books are shelved face-out and according to Brenner’s “grow up with books” system, with titles for babies and preschoolers on the bottom shelves, books for elementary schoolers on the middle shelves, and titles for middle grade and young adults at the top.

In addition, the majority of books at Read With Me are titles that have been published over the past few years. “Everyone knows the classics and you can get them everywhere,” Brenner said. “I wanted to bring in what the contemporary voices are saying.”

Soon, Read With Me will be home to regular classes and programming, including story times, local author and illustrator visits, weekday classes for kids, and more.

New Owners for Lorelei Books, Blue Hill Books

An April 30 Hail and Farewell Open House at Lorelei Books in Vicksburg, Mississippi, will bid goodbye to longtime bookstore owners Laura and Troy Weeks and welcome in new owner Kelle Barfield. Barfield and store manager Haley Sellers are planning an event featuring music, mingling, and memory sharing for the Weeks, who are retiring to North Carolina. Free Lorelei Books T-shirts will also be given to the first 50 guests.

Barfield, a native of Vicksburg, comes to Lorelei Books with 30 years of corporate communications experience at Entergy Corp. as well as previous work with Dell Publishing Company and Copley News Service. She has her master’s degree in communications management and a bachelor’s in magazine journalism.

In Blue Hill, Maine, Blue Hill Books owners Nick Sichterman and Mariah Hughs have sold the bookstore to longtime employee Samantha Haskell, effective February 1, reported

The bookstore was founded by Sichterman and Mariah Hughs in 1986; the two put the store up for sale in 2016 in hopes of retiring. Haskell worked for Blue Hill Books during summers in college and joined the store, now a 1,700-square-foot bookstore on two levels, when she graduated in 2010.

Haskell, who worked with SCORE and an advisor from the College of the Atlantic in preparation for the transition, is launching a community-supported bookseller business model to offset slower sales during the off-season. The program allows customers to buy shares of $250 to $1,000 to be redeemed on book purchases throughout the year.

Phoenix Books Launches Self-Publishing Division

Vermont’s Phoenix Books, which has locations in Essex, Burlington, Rutland, and Chester and recently purchased Yankee Bookshop in Woodstock, is launching Onion River Press, a self-publishing arm of the business, on May 9, reported Seven Days. Onion River’s first author is George Osol, who wrote Caveat, which he originally published through CreateSpace, Amazon’s self-publishing arm.

“We really felt like we needed to ask our local authors to make a decision not to use our main competitor,” said Phoenix Books Burlington’s Tod Gross. “So we started thinking about what we could do to make that easier for them.”

Onion River Press is run by Gross and bookseller Rachel Fisher. Authors can choose from four publication packages. Since production is through IngramSpark, Ingram’s self-publishing division, books from Onion River Press will be available for print-on-demand throughout the country.