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Common Good Books to Move to Macalester College

The Mac Weekly reported that Garrison Keillor’s Common Good Books in St. Paul, Minnesota, is moving to the Macalester College campus. It will be located in the same building as the Macalester College Bookstore and is scheduled to open in April after the space undergoes a $1.2 million renovation. The new bookstore will have more room for events.

Macalester hasn’t had a general bookstore since Ruminator Books closed in 2004. Keillor said that he loved Ruminator and hopes that Common Good Books will develop a similar rapport with its neighbors. “You walk into a bookstore and you look around at books and here, for sale, all around you, is American enterprise, intellectual enterprise and independence,” he said. “To me, this is an essential in a person’s education.”

The Galaxy Bookshop Heads to Main Street in January

Linda Ramsdell, owner of The Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick, Vermont, sent a letter to customers and friends on the occasion of the store’s 23rd anniversary to “share some reflections and some big news.”

To keep a thriving bookstore in downtown Hardwick, Ramsdell said the store will be moving to a new home in January, next to Claire’s Restaurant & Bar on Main Street, where there is more foot traffic.

The decision to move was based in part on a response to what has been “a tough year for the bookstore, as Amazon, the economy, and the shifting place of physical books in people’s lives have combined to erode sales,” Ramsdell said. However, she stressed, “I am committed to finding a way for The Galaxy Bookshop to continue to operate and feed readers in this new and vastly different bookselling environment.”

Former Story-Hour Kids Return as river’s end Booksellers

The place indie bookstores have in the hearts of some young community members is evident in a “feel good” story in a recent Palladium Times. The newspaper featured three staff members of the river’s end bookstore in Oswego, New York, who started coming to the store for its story hour. “I now have three coworkers here in the bookstore who started out as story time kids,” said bookseller Banna Rubinow.

Rubinow’s colleagues Tyler Sheffield, Nick Costo, and Catherine Wells are juniors at Oswego High School. About his work at river’s end,  Costo said, “I’d been going there all my life, being handed books by people, and now I’m the one handing books to kids, as well as to the people who handed me the books in the first place. I love reading and it’s nice spreading the same joy of reading to kids and adults.”

4 Kids Holds Successful Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day

At 4 Kids Books & Toys in Indianapolis and Fishers, Indiana, the December 3 celebration of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day (TYCBD) was “a fabulous day,” said Cynthia Compton.

“We promoted the idea on Facebook and through an e-mail blast, and sent notices to our area schools,” she said. Store staff made the most of TYCBD by providing “Wish Lists” for kids to fill out and distributing ABC Best Books catalogs, Indie Next Lists, and fliers for the store’s book club and craft events. 4 Kids also asked for names of teachers to send gift cards (sort of a “give a gift to your teacher from 4 Kids Books”) and had cards that the kids could sign to be delivered with the gift card. “All in all, a tiring, hectic, silly, very profitable day,” Compton said.  “We did lots of friend-raising, and our fund-raising beat Small Business Saturday, hands-down (and that was a good day, too).  We loved it.”  

Accent on Books Thanks Customers

Six months ago, the owners of Asheville, North Carolina’s Accent on Books didn’t know if they were going to survive the challenge of online retailers and ongoing touch economic times, reported the Asheville Citizen Times. But owners Lewis Sorrells and Patrick Covington sent a letter to customers explaining their situation, and the community rallied in support.

Last weekend, the booksellers invited loyal customers to their 24th annual open house, which featured live music, snacks, and discounts. Sorrells and Covington say they are still open thanks to the support they saw from customers. “I think buying local has spread from the idea of local food to supporting local business,” Sorrells added.

The Clintons Shop (and Sign) Local

The Pleasantville-Briarcliff Manor Patch reported that former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who live in Chappaqua, New York, shop local at The Village Bookstore in Pleasantville, New York. When they recently visited, all of store’s copies of Bill Clinton’s Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy sold out quickly.

Said co-owner Roy Solomon: “They are a couple of people who seem to genuinely seem to enjoy having people come up and talk to them. They did their shopping and it was really very pleasant and very exciting.” Their visit led co-owner Yvonne van Cort to consider hosting a signing for the former president who agreed. The owners got a call from Random House with the go-ahead for the signing and the booksellers placed an order for 700 copies of Back to Work. The event will take place at the Chappaqua Library on December 9. 

Boswell Book Company’s Stacie Michelle Williams Rocks

Stacie Michelle Williams, a bookseller at Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the latest in Algonquin Books Blog series “Booksellers Rock.“ Williams is described as a “lifelong bibliophile who taught herself to read by age five and self-recorded an audio book (Mickey & the Magic Bean Grinder) onto cassette at seven, [and] has been shelving books by subject, title, height, color, and alphabetically by author, since she had her own small library’s (one bookcase) worth of books in her room at age 12.”

On which books have recently rocked her world, Williams said, “Within the last few months —The Other Walk: Essays by Sven Birkerts, Boleto by Alyson Hagy, The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, Crimes in Southern Indiana by Frank Bill.”