Tell us about your store! How did you choose your Halloween-theme and genre focus?
I’ve always loved books and Halloween and all things spooky and horror. As I shared this passion with others I noticed how many people who experience anxiety and depression tend to love fall for all of the wonderfulness of this special time of year. Now they can experience it year round. I couldn’t be more excited to share my passion with other Halloween and spooky lovers along with readers of genre fiction, metaphysical and true crime books.
How has the pandemic changed the way you do business?
We couldn’t have made it this far, especially with the pandemic, without our incredible community. At the beginning of the pandemic we moved quickly to online sales with curbside pickup and then slowly to by appointment only. What started as a general bookshop has transitioned to a genre fiction bookshop carrying science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and horror. With the recent opportunity to move into a bigger space again I decided to have the shop reflect even more of my spooky self with it now being a Halloween themed bookshop year round. People are still emotionally drained from this pandemic that we’re still in the midst of. I wanted to create an environment where people could walk through the door where it’s Halloween year round. With spooky and Halloween themed decorations, along with books, candles, Little Spooky Studio locally made items, and of course Spooky our bookshop cat.
We require masks, proof of vaccination, and temperature checks. We want to provide a safe space especially for our high risk customers. I thought opening a bookshop would be a dream come true but it was actually this Halloween themed genre fiction bookshop that is the real dream come true.
Do you think your background as a librarian changes the way you choose books for the store? How do you decide which titles to stock?
I definitely think my background as a librarian impacts the way I curate the collection in the shop. There are a number of different ways I choose titles: discussing titles with other librarians and booksellers, social media, professional reviews, publisher representatives, diverse titles/authors, and reading advanced readers copies.
Since your store has a mystery/crime book club, which books have excited the club the most?
Killer Book Club favorites have been My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing, Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, and Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel.
What do you wish writers knew about bookstores?
I wish that writers knew that contacting us via email is the best way to do things and not by just stopping in. Independent bookshop owners wear a lot of hats and we don’t have time to chat long or hear about a book. It can also be very overwhelming and anxiety provoking to be caught off guard like that. Some bookstores don’t do consignment and will only buy a book once they have read a copy, skimmed it, or have seen a few reviews in some places. Never ever mentioned we can get your book on Amazon. If a bookstore does decide to carry your book promote that and not Amazon. Promote getting your book through Bookshop online not Amazon.
What’s the best way for readers and writers to keep up with everything happening at Around the Corner Bookstore?
Books Around the Corner – www.booksaroundthecorner.com
Facebook and Instagram: @halloweenbookshop
Newsletter signup is on our website but may be changing soon but people can still discover us there.
Stephanie Rose has had a number of different jobs including: mental health therapist, editor, writer, radio show host, band manager, music photographer, librarian, and now owner of a Halloween themed genre fiction bookshop. When she was a child she wanted to grow up and be a vampire and this is probably the closest she’ll get. She enjoys all things spooky and horror and of course fall and Halloween. When she’s not running the shop she’s home reading, watching shows and films, baking, and cuddling her fur babies. Originally from the Midwest Stephanie lives in Gresham with her husband and four furry children.