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Brick & Mortar Books to Open in Washington

Dan Ullom, a teacher for 14 years, and his parents, Tina and John Ullom, will hold a soft opening later this month for Brick & Mortar Books in Redmond, Washington, according to the Redmond Reporter. A grand opening celebration will follow on June 23.

“It’s been a dream, and now it’s going to be a reality,” said Tina Ullom, who was a teacher for 25 years and helped create the library at the Rachel Carson Elementary School.

The bookstore will focus on children’s and young adult books and STEM educational materials, as well as titles for adults. Inventory will start at 20,000 books, but may grow to 30,000; events will include signings and readings with local and national authors.

New Owner for Winston Smith Books

Earlier this month, Glen Sewell finalized his purchase of Winston Smith Books, a two-story used book store in downtown Auburn, California, according to a blog post by local realtor Jerry Sellers.

“Bookstores are not dead,” said Sewell, a businessman who, with his wife, Melanie, is brainstorming changes for the store to drive foot traffic. “There are a lot of people who prefer books to technology. I’m one of them.”

Sewell is planning to bring book signings, author readings, and book clubs to the store, which carries 40,000 books across a variety of genres.

Broadway Books, McLean & Eakin to Mark 25 Years

Kim Bissell and Sally McPherson, the owners of Broadway Books in Portland, Oregon, are inviting customers to join them in celebrating the store’s 25th birthday on May 20, reported the Oregonian. “People are more excited about books now than I think they’ve been in the whole time I’ve been here,” said McPherson, who came to the store in 2005.

“I’m proud of 25 years. We should be proud of 25 years,” Bissell said. The celebration will feature a special sale, giveaways, prizes, and custom bookplates created by a local artist, as well as cake and champagne.

McLean & Eakin co-owners Jessilyn and Matthew Norcross will host a celebration of the Petoskey, Michigan, bookstore’s 25th anniversary on August 15, reported the Petoskey News-Review. The bookstore was founded by Matthew Norcross’ mother, Julie, in 1992.

“I think the biggest reason we’re here is, our customers see it as a place to come and share ideas and talk,” said Jessilyn Norcross.

Among McLean & Eakin’s honors during the past 25 years are the 2000 Pannell Award for children’s bookselling and the 2004 Haslam Award for Excellence in Bookselling.

Queens Bookshop Initiative Lands Storefront

Vina Castillo, Natalie Noboa, and Holly Nikodem, the trio behind the Queens Bookshop Initiative, have signed a lease on a storefront on Lefferts Boulevard in Kew Gardens. The retail space is near a movie theater and pottery studio, as well as various mass transit options.

In a May 12 update on the store’s Kickstarter page, the future bookstore owners said, “After an extensive, and at times grueling, search... we have finally found the storefront for our bookstore! We are so excited to call Kew Gardens our new home. All of you have been so supportive and encouraging and we couldn’t have gotten this far without you.”

The three former Barnes & Noble employees raised more than $70,000 for the bookstore, which they hope will fill the void left by the closing of several Barnes & Noble locations in the borough. They are currently looking for someone to design the store’s logo and a mural for the children’s section.

New Staff at Kramerbooks, [words] Bookstore

Rebecca Oppenheimer, the former book buyer and project manager for The Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore, is joining Kramerbooks in Washington, D.C., as the lead book buyer. She joins Head of Programming Matt Megan and Perry Hooks, the co-founder and president of Hooks Book Events, who has been serving as a senior advisor for Kramerbooks since February.

“A passion for literature led me to my first job in the industry when I was 17, but an interest in business, entrepreneurship, and problem-solving has kept me there,” said Oppenheimer. “I am excited to join the team at Kramer’s, which has both an illustrious literary legacy and an ambitious, business-oriented vision for the future.”

Merril Speck, who formerly served as the manager for Housing Works Bookstore Café in New York City, has joined Maplewood, New Jersey’s [words] Bookstore as floor manager, reported the Village Green.

Speck and his wife, Brenda, relocated to Maplewood for Speck’s new position. “It’s a beautiful, friendly town that reminded Brenda and me of the Midwestern cities where we grew up. I’m really looking forward to connecting with the community to find out what they love to read, and, maybe, make a few recommendations,” said Speck.

In addition to serving as a community bookstore, [words] provides vocational training for individuals with disabilities. Housing Works is a nonprofit that aims to fight AIDS and homelessness through advocacy and services.