My friend Amanda owns a bookstore! And my other friend Amanda owns a bookstore! Yaaaay!
After operating the award-winning Prairie Pages bookstore since 2006, bibliopoles Peggy Stout and Kathy Villa decided last year to sell their shop. They found new buyers in Pierre neighbors Amanda Bachmann and Amanda Thronson:
Bachmann and Thronson have signed a three-year lease with building owner, Fee Jacobsen, they said. About Jacobsen, Thronson said, “She has been wonderful to work with, too.” For the rent, they’ll be on their own starting in June.
It’s sometime in the first week of June when the two Amandas are planning a “soft opening.” While the ownership has changed, the name will stay the same. And some of the faces working at the store will be familiar to old customers as part-timers who worked under the old Prairie Pages owners [Dave Askins, “New Owners Adding Games, Graphic Novels to Prairie Pages,” Pierre Capital Journal, 2018.05.21].
Bachmann is an SDSU extension entomologist and Democratic candidate for District 24 Senate. Thronson teaches English at Stanley County Middle School. I’m hard-pressed to think of nicer, smarter people to run a bookstore, especially in South Dakota’s state capital, where a lot of high-falutin’ folks could stand to read more good books.
On the news recently it said that the number of book stores in this country increased by one third in the last five or ten years. This could work well for them and the community.
All the ladies mentioned in your post are to be commended. Thanks to Peggy and Kathy for showing us how a good small town bookstore should be operated, as did Fee Jacobson, who ran the store before them and has continued to assist others with the vision. And many thanks to Amanda and Amanda for carrying it forward for the community and the state. We all need to make a point to stop by there and buy a book or two. There is evidence that independent book stores and other well-run niche retailing can work. But the owners can only do so much; it’s also up to us to support them when they do it right as Pierre Pages’ ladies have been doing for quite awhile now.
I wish the same happened to Books & More in downtown Madison. When I was starting school at DSU in 2006, I would stop by this store every now and then and take up the fresh ground coffee smell while I’d browse the shelves for anything interesting. They even sold SDSU Ice Cream. They ended up closing a few years later. I forgot the exact year, but nothing notable has been in the space since. Right now, the old Books & More spot is something called ‘The Real Deal’, which is never open.
Madison needs a really good independent bookstore once again. I can’t always get to the big Barnes & Noble in Sioux Falls every weekend, and even then, B&N doesn’t have the same charm that a small book store has.
There is something special about independent bookstores. Ahhhh.
Books and More was a fine place to linger and read, not to mention the best booth among what was left of the Crazy Day sales. What is “The Real Deal” supposed to be selling?