There is a certain magic to small independent book stores: stacks of books, winding aisles, and that specific smell that only exists in the best used book stores. There is nothing like the thrill of finding that perfect gift or addition to your own collection buried in the stacks. For years, residents of this small Indiana community had Better World Books, located at 215 South Main Street, but unfortunately the owners decided to close the physical store in order to focus more of their efforts in the online world. A group of friends decided that they would open a new bookshop in its place.
Fables Bookshop, set to open later this summer, is co-owned by six local friends who decided that a vibrant community needed a bookstore. Though things are still in the very earliest of stages, the ownership group is working hard to gather all of the necessary information and funding in order to open by late summer. All of this started with a simple idea – that a group of passionate people can make a difference in their community by investing in something they believe in.
Used bookstores are an extremely steady line of business to be in. The common refrain of used bookstore owners is that they’ll never be rich, but they’ll never go broke either. Many stores will offer coffee or locally produced products to get people in the door. Inviting authors to give talks or have book signings is another way to get the community involved in the business that other small shops have had success with. Independent bookstores are having a renaissance of sorts, with year-over-year sales growth topping 20% in many locations.
Sure, anyone can go online and have a book delivered to their door the next day. But there is something specifically wonderful about the process of discovery that can only happen at a brick-and-mortar shop. Turning down a narrow alley between the stacks, finding that gently used copy of an old favorite for a friend, or a new discovery of something you’d always wanted to read is something that you just cannot replicate in the online environment.
Fables Bookshop will be a welcome addition to the downtown area, and proof positive that people can work together to improve their community. If you would like to donate to the cause, you can follow this link.