It is always great to see new businesses open in Marshalltown. They are a sure sign of the forward-moving energy that many feel has been taking over the town! The latest new business is Read a Book Nook, located at 103 E. Linn St. It features new books from independent and small publish house authors as well as some gently used books. It’s a fantastic addition to the local shopping options popping up on Linn St. Read a Book Nook is open Monday to Friday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
We interviewed Wendy, one of the owners of the new store, to get an insider’s look. Read our Q&A below to get the scoop.
1. Please give us an overview about Read A Book Nook.
Read A Book Nook is a bookstore that has been in the works for a couple of years and has evolved from web based, to a display window with a website to an actual bookstore.
2. How did it get started?
It started a couple of years ago as an idea that I wanted to do to help get word out about indie authors to people. I realized when we went to vendoring events with other authors, we sold more books when we could direct potential readers to their favorite genre authors. People were very responsive when they could talk to the author as well as hold the physical book in their hands and look it over. I had wanted to have a kiosk in our local mall but it just never seemed to get off the ground so I decided to try doing a display window at the local mall that started in April. Every two weeks I changed the window dressing and put a new author up front for people to see along with a website they could go to in order to purchase the e-book version of the physical book on display. Every time I was in there I would get asked multiple times, “When is the bookstore opening?” I tried explaining the whole concept but they wanted a bookstore.
In October I got an opportunity to open the bookstore in a building with other vendors who did various things like selling collectables, crafts, knitting, and so on. I didn’t have the money to buy a bunch of books and someone suggested asking for donations, a new and used bookstore. Use the new books from the indie authors and the used books as well. I had heard a story about a guy who wanted to open a restaurant in his town but the bank wouldn’t loan him the money. He asked local people to donate 1,000 and they would get free beer for life. I can’t offer beer but I can offer discounts on future purchases to those who donate.
3. Why is Marshalltown the perfect place for Read A Book Nook?
It’s a perfect place because there isn’t a bookstore in Marshalltown like it. We don’t have Books A Million, Waldens, Barnes & Noble or anything like that. We have a Stepping Stones, a Christian bookstore but nothing else.
People have really have loved the idea and responded with a lot of donations. As the store grows, I will be able to buy books and get in new books from traditionally published authors as well. I will always do my best to help indie authors because they are the ones who have helped me and my son on our writing and publishing journey as well.
4. What types of books would people find there?
They would find everything from Romance to Sci/fi, a few antiques, Jeannette Oke, James Patterson, Debbie Macomber, Danielle Steel, Janet Evanovich, Terry Brooks, as well as Anthony Wedgeworth, Jordyn Meryl, Sue Raymond to just name a few indie authors. I also have children’s books: from little children’s books to beginner readers to chapter books.
5. Anything else moms should know?
I have been posting online keeping people up to date with the goings on as well as letting local sites on Facebook as well as the local paper know of the bookstore as well.
When I get books in whether it’s a donation or authors have sent me books, it’s like Christmas every time. I love visiting the people, showing them around and just talking to them. I love working with the books as well. Each with their own story and some with quite a bit of history
Read a Book Nook is located at 103 E. Linn St. and is open Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.