The closing of Borders changed everything for a number of Ann Arborites. Among them was Peter Blackshear, who had worked as a bargain book buyer for the national retailer for 12 years. Fortunately for he and wife Megan Blackshear, they still live in a community that loves books, and fortunately for Ann Arbor, the Blackshears are now channeling their specialized skills in the book industry into Bookbound
, a new, independent bookstore.
With a soft opening tentatively set for August, Bookbound will be located in the Courtyard Shops on Plymouth Rd. Blackshear says they were attracted to the small retail and dining development because it feels more like a community than most other non-downtown commercial areas.
"Courtyard a really nice alternative to downtown," says Megan Blackshear. "A lot of the businesses are owner-operated. It's not a typical strip mall; it's a neighborhood."
Bookbound will feature new books, a generous children's section, a limited number of used books and a bargain book section that will be unique to the traditional independent bookstore model. Using Peter Blackshear's skills as contacts from his Borders days, the pair believes the bargain book section will be key to Bookbound's success.
"One of the big things that is causing the brick and mortar bookstores to suffer is the competition from Amazon and other low-cost retailers," says Blackshear. " By throwing the bargain books in the mix, we'll be able compete with Amazon."
The 2,400 square foot space, which formerly housed B. Ella Bridal, is now under renovation. The Bookbound website should be completed in a few weeks, and a grand opening is being planned for September.
Source: Megan Blackshear, Bookbound
Writer: Natalie Burg