Book lovers in Emporia have a reason to rejoice — Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore is officially open for business.
Marcia Lawrence is now eagerly greeting customers at the bookstore, located at 1101 Commercial St. The bookstore has been a labor of love that started months ago after Town Crier closed. With the closure of Town Crier, Lawrence and others began to explore options for reopening a community bookstore.
Lawrence said bookstores bring light to the community.
“A bookstore is like light; that is knowledge,” Lawrence said. “A place for discussion and learning and literacy. A bookstore is light.”
When entering Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore visitors are greeted with an assortment of books all written by local authors. Familiar names — like Cheryl Unruh and Jerilynn Henrikson — jump out but dozens of other local authors are featured as well.
“It is really cool because local authors never get face-out, multiple copies. Never. It doesn’t happen in bookstores,” Lawrence said. “I thought I would keep it this way, just local authors, through the Great American Market.”
The bookstore is part of the Harper Collins New Bookstore Development and the American Booksellers Association. Lawrence will be placing an order for additional books written by non-local authors soon. She also said the store will place special orders for customers and offers a discount for educators.
The plan has always been to feature local authors — not just through book sales but also author signings and readings. Lawrence said a number of author events are upcoming and the public is invited to come to the store to meet the authors and take part in events.
“First Friday’s, starting in October, will be hosted by Kevin Rabas and Lisa Moritz and will feature readings both spoken and sung,” Lawrence said.
In the future, regional publications, magazines and periodicals will also be available for purchase at the store. Currently, there are cards and bookmarks made by local artists available for purchase. Coffee from local venues is also available for a small donation. Lawrence is striving to support all areas of the community as the store grows.
“Emporia is a wonderful community with wonderful people,” Lawrence said. “We should shop local as much as possible.”