Roanoke’s downtown bookstore has moved to bright new digs on the Market at 112 Market St., SE.
“We learned in the move that books are heavy,” said CFO Craig Coker. “And we learned that we have a lot of supporters who want us to succeed and were willing to help.” The move might have only been a few blocks, but it was an undertaking. “Next time, we might choose to sell feathers,” joked Coker, “or helium balloons.”
The move was a heavy lift, but there were some surprise volunteers—passersby who simply joined in when they saw what the team was doing. Now that’s community support.
Since Doloris Vest opened the bookstore in the fall of 2017, she’s sparked literary and entrepreneurial energy, hosting workshops and author events for local writers. And like any good bookstore, the space is impossible to visit without engaging in some good book talk and meeting someone new. At the new location, that community building effect will multiply.
The move will bring increased foot traffic, more space for connecting over books, and definitely more books. “We’re going to expand each section,” said Vest, pointing to the new space. With a split-level rear section, nonfiction is downstairs, and children and youth have their own perch high above the store. Browsing will be more comfortable in the space, and there’s room for theme-related features. “Currently we have a display in recognition of this week’s International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. I’m looking forward to grouping books around themes to spark interest and conversation.” said Vest.
On Saturday Andy Parker read from his memoir, For Alison: The Murder of a Young Journalist and A Father’s Fight for Gun Safety (Apollo, 2019), and spoke to two dozen people gathered in the downstairs section. The room provides an intimate space for authors to connect with readers, and for the store to host important conversations like Saturday’s.
The talk was the first of many events in the new space, to be followed next Saturday (3/16) with a reading by middle grade and young adult author Angie Smibert at 2 PM. More information, as always, at booknofurther.com. ★