|A New Chapter, Lewisburg, WV|
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So, you want to open a bookstore? Ok, here's what you do. Decide if you have the determination and wherewithal David and his wife did when they opened A New Chapter. Move from your home to a small town where nobody knows you. Make sure it's no larger than approximately 3000 people. Pick out a random empty store for sale and declare, let's buy it and open a bookstore. Make sure you're old enough to be retired from your professional career that has nothing to do with bookstores. When your store opens your credit card reader doesn't work and you have no back-up so your only way to make a sale is to accept cash only. Naturally, nobody has cash and many customers were ready to buy books. So the owner tells the customers, take the books and come back and pay me later. WHAT?!! Yes, just take the books and pay later. David's faith was rewarded and all the books were paid for. Brilliant move not taught in any business classes. Try that one in NYC.
And now A New Chapter is 4 years old in a great corner location downtown, diagonal from the visitor's center. This beautiful space offers all new books and a good variety of sidelines including greeting cards, goofy socks, and unique designer bow ties made of feathers. The store used to only offer puzzles during the holidays but they sold so well they're now offered year round. They offered curbside service during the pandemic and as David told me, if people will go pick up a pizza, they'll do the same for a book. Spot on.
|Harper is in a bookstore surrounded by loving fans, escape is futile. |
David's second best decision after opening the store was to bring on Shaye as the store's co-owner. She is doing a great job with social media, curating the shelves, events, and future store plans. When David brought Shaye on board it included the bookstore dog in training, Harper. What a loveable, friendly store mascot. Events are held in the store or at the nearby Carnegie Hall for larger crowds. The store is also in the process of acquiring a wine license so expect to see that served in the store sometime soon. Best of all, the store has seen continued monthly growth ever since opening, thanks to tourists and locals alike.
|Harper was born to do this. She's already got the nice and friendly part down. |
Have you seen those state best bookstore lists that come out periodically? In West Virginia, this store needs to be ranked highly on the list. The state has some fine independent bookstores, but not many better than this. Enjoy this gem, Lewisburg. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: The Afterlife of Billy Fingers, Annie Kagan.
CURRENTLY READING: The Authenticity Project, Clare Pooley.
|A great corner location on the busiest street in town. |
|Lots of window display space. |
|Well said. |
|View looking into the store from the front entrance. |
|Looking to the right from the front entrance. |
|A welcomed display for people who sit on their reading glasses or sunglasses. |
|Looking to the left from the front entrance. |
|Several sideline items located near the front of the store and on the left. |
|Get one of these cards and then take it home and plant it. Watch what happens. |
|Just wait until you meet this charmer. Notice the blurred tail? She's always happy!|
|Bookstore candles can be found here. |
|Display of new releases. |
|Bookstore socks sell well in every indie I visit. |
|Regional display of children's books. |
|When Harper isn't selling books, she's playing. Or napping. |
|A wonderful promotion I've seen in many stores. |
|This is what one of the "blind date" books looks like. |
|Yes, you'll need one of these totes for all the books you'll get. |
|Jigsaw puzzles are a popular seller. |
|Harper takes a break. Some of you will undoubtedly recognize the hand of Indie Bob's director of operations, Michelle T. |
|A New Chapter has an active events schedule. |
|Overview of the children's area. |
|You'll find the children's section in the right rear corner. |
|Gamers will like this section. |
|They also have "blind date with a book" for YA readers. |
|Overview of the store looking from the back toward the front entrance. |
|Yes, another picture of Harper because she's irresistible. |
|You might as well enjoy a coffee while you're here. |
|There are a wide variety of wonderful sidelines throughout the store. |
|From L-R: Shaye, Harper, and David, the fine folks you'll meet at A New Chapter. Thanks for a great visit. |