New Pittsburg bookstore gears up for Independent Bookstore Day
PITTSBURG, Kan. — Most people would say that last year was a less than ideal time to start a new small business. Between the economic hardships, the COVID-19 pandemic created, and the plethora of mitigation strategies businesses were asked to comply with, opening a new business was more challenging than ever before.
But that didn’t stop the Shultz family.
Last November, on Small Business Saturday, the Shultz family — Darcie, Dave and their daughter Rylie — opened the doors of Books and Burrow.
“It’s inspired by our daughter Rylie,” said owner Darcie Shultz. “She’s more than an avid reader. I mean we collect books, we cherish them, she [Rylie] devours them. We just thought we wanted to be in that space and provide that opportunity for the community to access books.”
Located on South Broadway next to Miners and Monroe — which Darcie’s brother owns — owner Darcie Shultz and her husband Dave redid the space in just one month before opening its doors to the community.
“I think it's important that people have these businesses. These local family-owned businesses to go to in person, safely of course, where they can select and look through a tangible book rather than online,” Shultz said.
Shultz said the idea for the store grew out of her and her ten-year-old daughter’s shared love of reading and collecting books and has been an idea they had since 2015. But when their current storefront opened in late 2020, they decided to take the leap and make their dream a reality.
“It’s a hard industry, I mean we’re going up against Amazon, and opening during the pandemic was kind of crazy,” she said. “We just jumped. We said ‘are we doing this?’ ‘Okay.’ And we didn’t really have time to think about what would happen. There’s always pros and cons but because we had such a short time frame, I think that pushed us past any kind of fears.”
Books and Burrow carries a variety of books in many genres for all ages, but also carries book-related merchandise including teas and chocolates. As one of the first big events the store will be having, Books and Burrow will be celebrating Independent Bookstore Day with several events scattered throughout Saturday, April 24.
“We’re having a variety of things throughout the day so that no matter what time you come in you feel like there is something happening,” Shultz said.
- A children’s Storytime for ages 3 to 6 with books themed around Earth Day from 10 to 11 a.m. Spots are very limited so be sure to RSVP.
- A storybook costume contest at 11 a.m. where patrons are invited to dress up as their favorite author, character, etc. Three winners will be randomly selected.
- A teatime where the community is invited to sample new additions to the Simpson & Vail Iced Tea Collection from 2 to 4 p.m.
- Live music in the evening provided by local band the Darters.
Additionally, there will be designated times where children's and adult books will be discounted. A craft table will be open all day and patrons will receive other fun merchandise like pins and stickers while supplies last. Also, the store will be running a Book Bundle Giveaway valued at $60. More information and a detailed outline of the day’s activities can be found at Books and Burrow’s website.
Shultz said the activities are geared towards readers of all ages, as encouraging young readers is one of their long-term goals for the business.
“Part of our mission is starting really, really super young, reading to your children in infancy and continuing to read with them,” she said. “It’s a bonding experience and obviously ideal that it leads to adults who read.”
Shultz said the response from the community has been great and she looks forward to where the business will go.
“I hope it's really thriving [in the future],” she said, “with more programming. Whether it’s book clubs, or storytimes. We could have author events, partnering with Pitt state on things. We want to be a community space too.”
Jordan Meier is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org