|Ninth Street Bookshop, Wilmington, DE
The Ninth Street Bookshop is an indie beacon sending a beam of hope to all those recently opened bookstores that you can do it. You can survive, endure, and be a sustainable bookstore. This indie has been just that for 40+ years in the urban setting of downtown Wilmington. Not the easiest place to sell a book, but you can't overlook 40+ years of success. But my write-up for this indie will also be a call to arms to someone who many be reading this. Now is your chance. Sadly, Ninth Street Books may have to close their doors for good. Husband and wife co-owners, Jack and Gemma B., will be retiring soon and unless someone decides to buy their business, the store will be forced to close. I know there are many aspiring bookstore owners out there and to them I say, give this some thought.
What will you find here? A very attractive one-level indie in a narrow space located on a corner of downtown Wilmington. Your customers will be mostly local, including some of the government employees from their nearby office buildings. It will also include books mailed to prisoners, as many as 100/month. I'd say the customers are pretty devoted since they voted for the bookstore not to change its name when they moved to their current location, not on 9th St., but the corner of 8th St. and Market.
What else? You'll find all new books, neatly arranged. A few magazines and greeting cards that sell quite well. An expanded religious and spiritual section which is selling well now since one of the Christian bookstore chains recently went out of business. Finally, a wonderful children's section where you can see the great care that Gemma has put into that.
Lastly, you're going to meet some wonderful and knowledgeable people who have years of experience in the bookstore business. I didn't get to meet Gemma, but her husband Jack was great to meet and visit with. I also met Jo Anne who has 35+ years of bookstore experience and was equally nice to meet. When you get ready to buy this business, make sure you take advantage of their expertise at this great store.
Wilmington, the clock is ticking. Do you want an independent bookstore? Visit this one before it's too late and hopefully visit it someday to meet the new owners. Check out one of Delaware's top independent bookstores. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: The Bottoms, Joe R. Lansdale. Story of a white family living in east Texas in the 1930s. A time when racism can be brutal, especially in the south. Several African-American women have been murdered and the racist white community shows little interest until a white woman is murdered. The protagonist white family takes an unpopular stand and is pretty much on their own. I thought this book was excellent and one blurb compared its theme to, To Kill A Mockingbird. Recommended.
CURRENTLY READING: Survivor's Club, Michael Bernstein and Debbie Bernstein Holinstat.
|Another exterior view of the great corner location.
|Spacious display window.
|Check out the bargains before you enter the store.
|View looking into the store from the front entrance. Alert readers may recognize the celebrity in the foreground. Yes, that's my mom.
|View looking to the right from the front entrance.
|A variety of Bible cases available here as well as several spiritual and inspirational books and items.
|You'll find some interesting sidelines at the check-out counter.
|A great section of travel books near the front of the store.
|A few of the magazines available.
|Lots of greeting cards in the store.
|...for 40+ years. Congrats, Jack and Gemma.
|A portion of the items of local interest and by local authors.
|An extensive section of afro fiction and non-fiction.
|A portion of the children's section.
|The store offers a line of Melissa & Doug toys for kids.
|A nice place to sit down and sample a book, in the children's section.
|View looking from the back of the store toward the front entrance.
|Consider getting a map to find all the bookstores you want to visit.
|ALWAYS ask your independent bookstore about gift cards.
|A nice display of Crane & Co stationery.
|With Jack on the left, one of the fine co-owners of the Ninth Street Bookshop. Thanks for a great visit.