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A couple of weeks ago I was in a meeting and mentioned that I was going to meet with the owner of the new bookstore in town, Pageturners. “Checking out the competition, huh?” was one of the replies I got.

I hurried to reassure them that I don’t see a local bookstore as competition. Not at all.

And after meeting with Kathy Magruder, I can say with certainty that there is no competition at all between Pageturnes Bookstore and the Indianola Public Library.

Far from it, in fact.

Both Kathy and I see the benefits of having both an independent bookstore and a public library in the same town. There are endless possibilities for collaborating on programs and sharing publicity. And those are just the things we talked about in one 2-hour meeting!
From the Library’s point-of-view I am excited to see a new bookstore open up. We receive multiple requests from new authors who want to come to the Library to promote their new book. (For “promote” read “sell.”) We are happy to do that but insist that they also provide a program to go with it. This is easier for some than for others. We try to accommodate these requests as often as we can but it can be difficult.

Now we can direct them to the local bookstore, a place much more suited to selling books than we are. What a wonderful place to talk about your book, meet new people and sell some copies!

Personally, I am tickled at the thought of having an independent bookstore in town. I’d much rather browse the shelves of a bookstore located 5 minutes away from my home than try to figure out the Amazon website or drive to Des Moines to Barnes and Noble. And I’m pretty sure the service I receive here in town will be much more personal than anything I can get from a website or a megastore.

Competition? Far from it. I know that Indianola can support both a local bookstore and a public library. I’m looking forward to the opening sometime around the end of July.