November 2, 2013

Virginia: Fountain Bookstore

Fountain Bookstore: another freaking awesome store that I'm way too excited to tell you about. I'm going to try though. Fountain Bookstore is located in downtown Richmond, VA and is owned and run by one of the coolest people I met on my Indie Bookstores of America journey, Kelly Justice. She has owned Fountain Bookstore since 2008 and been its manager since 2000.  

Things I loved about this store:
  • Its owner
  • Its great vibe, which no offense Richmond, I didn't know you guys could have. (And if you're in Richmond and only stick to the suburbs, you're doing yourself a disservice. Get to this store immediately.)
  • Its awesome online presence and skill at selling autographed copies of books.
  • The zero tolerance for book snobbery so that everyone who comes to this store feels totally comfortable and not intimidated by any 'indie bookstore' stereotypes they may have. (Full disclosure: That's a personal pet peeve of mine. I really hate book snobs. I just want everyone to love books. Period. End of story. :)
  • The bookstore soap 

Yep, you read that last one correctly. This is pretty much one of the coolest extra things I've seen in a bookstore. How many times have you gone into a bookstore and had an immediate reaction to how good it smelled? Well Fountain Bookstore captured its great scent and put it in a soap. 

And if you're still wondering why I mention the people behind a bookstore so much, it's because I truly believe they are what makes a bookstore awesome. Unlike a chain store where a manager or franchise owner may not have as much personal impact on a store, indie bookstores are completely shaped by their owners. And an awesome store is going to have an equally great bookstore owner behind it.

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Next Bookstore: Taylor Books in West Virginia

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