How did we get here?
In February of 2016, our city lost a beloved institution seeing The Booksellers at Laurelwood close its doors, in a spot that had been a home for independent bookselling for over 30 years.
That could have been the end of the story, but it most definitely was not. The community spoke up loud and clear and told us this was not okay.
In the final months of The Booksellers at Laurelwood, customers and booksellers shared their memories, tears, and their hope that something could be done to keep a bookstore in this space. There were newspaper articles and petitions. People asked "What can I do? How can I help?"
After the doors closed, members of the staff went their separate ways, hoping to eventually find a new home to sell their favorite books. In the meantime, they found new workplaces and learned new skills, but kept in touch.
During this time, Memphians rallied. A team of local investors came forward and decided it was time to get into the book business. While none of them had previous bookselling experience, these were long-time customers and members of the community who knew how important having an indie bookstore is to their family and the city. They invested in a bookselling team that has hundreds of years experience among them, in a community that has become an extended family to the bookstore over the years, and in the future of Memphis readers. Pretty soon, with the cooperation of the team at Laurelwood Shopping Center, the details were worked out, and a core group of seasoned staff sat down with the brand-new managing partners, and figured out how to open a bookstore. While many of the previous staff had been in the book business for years and years, none of them had ever started a bookstore (or any business, for that matter!) from scratch.
Roughly 3 months later, the doors opened on the next chapter of independent bookselling in Memphis.
In all the time that there has been a bookstore on this site, this is the first time it has been entirely locally owned and operated. We are here, we are listening, and we want to be engaged, and involved, working with Memphis and the Mid-South to enrich our community.
We are your bookstore, Memphis. We're so happy to be here.