Save Booksellers at Laurelwood from Closing

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Imagine yourself briskly walking through a set of double doors and into a wonderland of books, but not just books: knowledge, dreams, inspiration, centuries of information packed into small, compact packages. The first scent that hits your nostrils is the smell of fresh, new books (not too different from the smell of a new car). As you meander about this wonderland, you may also notice the scent of enticing food radiating from the bistro located deep within the reading paradise, cleverly named after a groundbreaking author. Your eyes will then wander across the countless shelves neatly organized throughout the stores; however, these shelves aren't filled with mundane items. These shelves are packed to brim with a diverse mix of historical fiction, contemporary, young adult, classics, etc. You name it and this lands carefully crafted words has it. The last thing you notice will be the sounds that emit from all sectors of this rather large paradise. Sometimes it might be as quiet as the Central Library or other times it might be as loud of the Memphis Zoo; regardless, you never know what to expect when you walk into this wonderful emporium!

What is this wonderful place you ask? This is none other than the Booksellers at Laurelwood. Before it was known as Booksellers at Laurelwood, this last stronghold of books located conveniently in central Memphis was known as Davis-Kidd. I can remember being younger and wandering into Booksellers to gaze in amazement of the variety of colorful books, big books, small books, tall books, and long books. Often, I have crossed into Booksellers like Harry Potter first crossed into Ollivanders looking for a wand. Rather than looking for a wand, the wand found him. In the same manner, instead of looking for a book, a book has often found me. This magical-type of experience can not be replicated in bookstore chain or online. While yes, places like Amazon are convenient, nothing can match the experience of walking into the reading wonderland that is Booksellers. While yes, there are other smaller bookstores in the Memphis area, none are as conveniently located to a central population like Booksellers. While yes, Booksellers has not been making as much money in recent years, this is no fault of the store, but rather a move to other book purchasing alternative, such as online stores.

Bookstores like Booksellers are becoming more rare every year and we can not allow this to continue. Booksellers has been a staple in the Memphis area for more than three decades now (they opened as Davis-Kidd in 1985). The staff at Booksellers is unmatched in their experience of book selling experience. Their current staff (as of last year) had over 306 years of experience. Their continued dedication to helping thousands of people purchase books and the warmth they show to anyone who enters Booksellers is invaluable to the Memphis community.

Unfortunately, Neil Van Uum, the current owner of Booksellers, has decided that it's time to close the doors for good in February. While I understand Mr. Van Uum's reasoning behind wanting to close the store  and appreciate his efforts in keeping the store open thus far, I firmly believe that there is more that can be done to keep the store open. That is why I am appealing to Mr. Van Uum, Jim Strickland (the mayor of Memphis), and the Memphis community to help keep Booksellers open. 

There are several thing you can do to show your support for the store:

1. Sign this petition to show that Booksellers is still a valued part of the vibrant Memphis community

2. Share this petition on social media to help spread the word using #MemphisGetsLit

3. Create ideas to help improve the business of local bookstores in Memphis, TN

Thank you, Emmett Miskell, avid Bookseller's shopper

Today: Emmett is counting on you

Emmett Miskell needs your help with “Neil Van Uum: Save Booksellers at Laurelwood from Closing”. Join Emmett and 3,058 supporters today.