The Rapidian

Co-op bookstore to join Avenue for the Arts this November

Bombadil Books, opening November 11, will offer binding and restoration services, community events and a quarterly magazine. Co-owners Danielle Alexander and Tim Albon aim to create "a home away from home for creatives and literary-minded people."
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For More Information:

To visit the Bombadil Books website, click here.

To see the Facebook page, click here.

To learn more about Avenue for the Arts, click here.

Co-owners Danielle Alexander and Tim Albon

Co-owners Danielle Alexander and Tim Albon /Courtesy of Bombadil Books

/Courtesy of Bombadil Books

November 11 is the grand opening of a new bookstore at 315 South Division Avenue called Bombadil Books, that will bring a variety of services to the downtown area. The co-op style bookstore is open to all shoppers, but also offers memberships with a cost going toward store credit. Credit can also be earned by trading in used books. Memberships provide special benefits and help fund events.

“We are really passionate about being responsive to our community,” says co-owner Danielle Alexander. “By operating off a co-op model we're letting people know that this isn't just our bookstore; it belongs to the whole community. We want people to feel like they have a say in the space, and like it's their space too. A home away from home for creatives and literary-minded people.”

Some of the services offered by the bookstore include binding and restoration services, events to engage the community and the Bombadil Quarterly. Tim Albon, one of the co-owners, studied book arts and bookmaking, so restoration and binding are a natural extension to the store. The community events come out of the two owners’ passions for local businesses.

“We're big believers in collaborating with other small businesses and area nonprofit organizations to create the best Grand Rapids possible for everyone,” says Alexander. “You can look forward to seeing some of those collaborations as soon as this winter, when we'll be hosting local artists and makers during the Avenue's Holiday Shop Hop on December 12.”

Their idea for a quarterly magazine also plays into this vision for community engagement. For Albon and Alexander, it is a way of celebrating local literature.

“In talking about creating a quarterly, we stumbled upon this dream of owning a used bookstore, where we could bring together creative people, books and art, and also celebrate the art of the book, which we're both very passionate about,” says Alexander. “Books have become such a commercial thing; we're all about returning to a time when books were a cherished art form.”

When picking a location, the Midwestern natives chose the Grand Rapids area, and specifically the Avenue for the Arts downtown, a corridor of art and culture related commercial and non-profit groups downtown.

“We wanted to be a part of the vibrant renaissance that is happening on South Division,” says Alexander of their choice of location. “After living in Denver, we were attracted to being a part of a small, closely-knit community, and Avenue for the Arts gives us that. It's such a great collaboration of small business owners, artists, and folks dedicated to creating lasting change for our South Division neighborhood. There's such positive energy on the Avenue.

“We wanted to bring used books downtown. It's been too long since Grand Rapids has had a quality used bookstore in the epicenter of the city. Having a used bookstore, and literary-focused events, tells the world that Grand Rapids is a progressive city with a love for art and literature and the creative community.”

An IndieGoGo campaign has recently concluded, bringing in $2000 that will be put towards book inventory. The Grand Opening of Bombadil Books will be taking place on November 11 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony involving Mayor-Elect Rosalyn Bliss.

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