Last Saturday, A New Chapter bookstore opened their doors to the public for the first time. Despite it just being their soft opening without much fanfare, they sold nearly 80 books in their first day of business alone.
Owner David Craddock said that since then, the foot traffic has been steady, and that local interest has been high for a bookstore since the closing of The Open Book. “We don’t even have a sign out yet,” said Craddock, “but business has been good.”
Located on the corner of Washington and Court Street in the old ABB building, Craddock has completely redone the interior from top to bottom, transforming the space into a more modern, clean atmosphere. The new look is mostly cool grays with black shelves, and an intricate tile pattern highlighting the floor. Craddock said that he has traveled all around, from New York to Florida, looking at independent bookstores for inspiration. “It was hard to come up with a vision,” he said.
Craddock said that opening a bookstore is something that he’s always had in mind that he would like to do. After retiring last year, he decided that now would be a good time to take the leap and become a new business owner. Craddock and his wife relocated to Lewisburg from Tennessee last February, when they bought and renovated a house downtown. Noticing that a rental opportunity was available in the old ABB storefront, he requested to have the space held until he could get started on his bookstore venture. Construction was led by Martin Schleiff, which began in early April.
A New Chapter carries only new books, in both hardback and quality paperback. They can special order books as well, usually arriving within three days, and have them shipped either to the store or a home address. Carrying all genres for all ages, they have a large section for children and young adults. They also carry some local gift items and cards.
“This is totally a leap of faith on my part,” he said. “I’ve never done anything like this. It’s more work than one would imagine.” He hopes to have a space where people will want to come in, hang out, and just enjoy being in the store.
In the future, A New Chapter plans to host events and groups, such as book club meetings. Craddock said he will stay in contact with local teachers and librarians in order to stay stocked for things like Battle of the Books, a reading incentive program for students.
A Facebook page for the business is in the works, which will show their business hours and other information. Don’t miss their grand opening, scheduled for Friday, June 8.