Concord, N.H., will be moving from its 27 South Main St. location "to fill
the entire first floor" as the major tenant of a new building at 43-45 South
Main St., where construction is scheduled to begin this summer following the demolition
of the New Hampshire Bindery and an adjacent building. The five-floor, nearly 70,000-square-foot
building should be ready by next year.
Anthology user and owner Michael Herrmann cited the demise of Borders bookstore
last year and the "immediate and big jump" in sales at his store as the
spark for his initial consideration of possible expansion. Gibson's will lease
nearly 14,000 square feet (12,000 "usable space") in the new building,
with 2,000 square feet occupied by a café.
"We think about 10,000 square feet is the kind of robust independent
bookstore that a city the size of Concord can support, and we hope people will support
it, " said Herrmann, noting that the additional space will result in expanded
hours, a larger children's section and other improvements. "This whole
end of the street is becoming so much of an arts district. We're still going
to be square in the middle of that."
In an e-mail newsletter sent to customers yesterday afternoon, Herrmann confirmed
that the relocation is expected to occur a little over a year from now. "Why
are we moving?" he wrote. "We love our current space, and we love our
neighbors, but let's face it: many sections are groaning with overstock, our
events become mob scenes when popular authors come to town, and there's so much
we know we could do better if we just had the right space to do it in. We need a
bigger space; we need a better space."
He also observed that their "primary job as booksellers in 2012 is to put up
the best bookstore space we can--to provide the best argument we can for shopping
for books in the real world. This new development has given us a way to do that....
All I know is that there was nowhere else in the downtown for Gibson's--Concord's
oldest retailer, the oldest independent bookstore in New Hampshire, and, we hope,
also worthy of preservation--to create the best version of itself, to write its
own future. Because if we don't write it, it is certainly at risk."
Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, N.C., recently hosted an event for children’s
book author/illustrator Ashley Bryan that attracted a crowd of more than 140 people,
including a grade-school chorus. The event held to celebrate the publication of
new editions of his award-winning books Walk Together Children: Black American Spirituals,
Volume One and I'm Going to Sing: Black American Spirituals, Volume Two,
which are published by Alazar Press, Carrboro, N.C.
Flyleaf was also recently profiled in the
local paper. From the story:
“Several years ago, Chapel Hill developer Ron Strom was looking to bring a
bookstore back to Chapel Hill, to be situated in his shopping complex on Martin
Luther King Jr. Boulevard. He called around the established indie stores to inquire
if any wanted to open a satellite store. When he called McIntyre's, one of Keebe
Fitch's staff members, Jamie Fiocco, took the call.
"Ron piqued my interest," Fiocco acknowledges. And before long, she and
McIntyre's co-workers Land Arnold and Sarah Carr were in business together.
Fiocco serves as general manager, while Arnold is the storefront manager and Carr
is the children's manager.
Three years on, Flyleaf Books is
flourishing, particularly making a name for itself supporting local poets and musicians.
Yep Roc holds album-release parties there—two weeks ago, 130 people packed into
the store's dedicated performance space to hear Chatham County Line. The Sacrificial
Poets, a collective of young spoken-word artists, hold monthly shows in the store.
Local writers pay frequent visits, and even non-local ones, like John Grisham, drop
in whenever they're in town. Last spring, one of Chapel Hill's up-and-coming
writers, Rosecrans Baldwin, launched his most recent book there.
"Jamie, Land and Sarah really care about their events," Baldwin says.
"They know their community, and the audience is always terrific."
But opening a store—and not just any store, but a bookstore—in 2009 was not an easy
undertaking. In some ways, the timing was perfect, because of the renewed interest
in supporting local businesses. "We kind of came in on the upswing of the local
food movement, which had kind of become the local-everything movement," Arnold
says. He also points out that nationally in 2009, more bookstores opened than closed.
Readers in Chapel Hill are glad that they have an indie bookstore again.
"I'm in Flyleaf every two weeks," says Baldwin, "if only because
they tell me what I'll enjoy reading next. And they're (almost) always right.”
Congratulations to Thomas Roberts and Joseph Justin, who a month ago opened
Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe in Warwick, N.Y., according to the
Warwick Advertiser. The store stocks new, used and rare books and was "the
dream" of the owners, who moved to the area last year.
"It became apparent very quickly that a small independent bookstore was the
one big missing piece to the overall collective commercial shopping
scene," Roberts told the Advertiser. "We believe people want
to have the whole book experience back in their lives again. A place to come browse,
feel, smell and simply enjoy a good book. The excitement from the residents at having
a bookstore once again in Warwick has been overwhelming."
Roberts has retired as a stage manager, lighting and sound designer in off-Broadway
theatre and cabaret. Justin is an actor and stunt man in film and television.
On June 12, Anthology users One
More Page hosted a launch party and fundraiser for Team Cul de Sac: Cartoonists
Draw the Line at Parkinson's (Andrews McNeel), which contains artwork
from cartoonists and illustrators inspired by the comic strip Cul de Sac. Twenty
cartoonist-contributors came to the party to sign books and celebrate with Richard
Thompson, the cartoonist behind Cul de Sac (who has Parkinson's), and Chris
Sparks, who leads the Team Cul de Sac fundraising efforts. A portion of the day's
sales went to Team Cul de Sac, which is part of the Michael J. Fox Foundation. One
More Page owner Eileen McGervey described the event this way: "There was cake,
snacks, cartoonists/illustrators and fans everywhere, some queuing up to an hour
early. The store was quite literally so packed that we had to move a big chair outside
to make space. After the event wound down, the cartoonists stayed, visiting with
each other and signing each other's books." She called the event "wonderful
chaos because there was so much going on, but it was so fantastic."