Around Indies

Gulliver’s Books Changes Hands

Last month, Bryan and Christy Wiskeman became the new owners of Gulliver’s Books in Fairbanks, Alaska. The couple, who has lived in the area since 1994 and previously worked for the local school district, purchased the business from David Hollingsworth, who opened the store in 1985.

“I would say overwhelmingly people are glad that it’s going to stay and continue,” Bryan Wiskeman told the Daily News-Miner.

Gulliver’s carries new and used books, as well as quirky gift items. The space includes an upstairs café that offers beverages, soups, bagels, and wraps.

“For the most part, we plan to keep it the same,” Christy Wiskeman told the paper. “It’s just a cool thing the way it is.”

Politics & Prose on SNL

Washington’s Politics & Prose had a starring role in last week’s Saturday Night Live, which featured a parody of a Paula Broadwell’s February reading at the store, an event that had been broadcast on C-SPAN. In SNL’s opening vignette, “David Petraeus’s biographer-mistress takes the podium to read excerpts from All In, which, to the horror of the genteel bookstore patrons, turn out to be steamy, soft-core sex scenes,” the Washington Post reported. The whole scene was shot in front of a Politics & Prose backdrop.

Store co-owner Bradley Graham noted that the Broadwell talk got a lot more attention in the past week than it did at the time.

MSNBC Visits [Words]

Last Sunday morning, as part of its “Your Business” segment, MSNBC visited Maplewood, New Jersey, to ask small business owners how they were preparing for Small Business Saturday. Among a handful of featured businesses was [words]in downtown Maplewood.

“We have very loyal customers,” said store owner Jonah Zimiles. “Our town really supports small business. Obviously, with all the publicity around Black Friday, people get distracted and go to the mall, and business is down. It’s great to redirect people back to the town center.”

Seminary Co-op Moves

On Monday, the The Seminary Co-op Bookstore in Chicago, Illinois, began its move to a new location with a “Book Parade,” wherein community members were invited on the “symbolic journey” from the old space to the new.

In a video posted on YouTube, Jack Cella, the co-op’s general manager eloquently explains the move, while walking through the store’s old space on University Avenue. The new space on Woodlawn Avenue is a larger, above-ground store that will possess many of the same maze-like elements of the original location. The bookstore’s architect “carried over lots of things people like about the co-op,” Cella said in the video, “without feeling like you’re bumping into somebody all the time.”

The Peregrine Book Company Opens its Doors

Last Saturday, The Peregrine Book Company in Prescott, Arizona, held its grand opening featuring author workshops and book signings, as reported by the Daily Courier.

Before opening, owner Ty Fitzmorris did extensive research with the intention of finding the key to running a successful independent bookstore. To that end, he sees his new store as one that can offer many distinct advantages, such as a personalized shopping experience, that online retailers cannot provide.

The bookstore is aptly named, explained Tom Brodersen, the store’s general manager. In addition to the owner’s love of birds, “the peregrine falcon is an endangered species making a comeback, and bookstores are an endangered species making a comeback.”