Thursday, November 21, 2013 / 12:00 AM
StLBooks holds the ribbon-cutting ceremony for its grand opening today at 3 p.m. at their new home in Kirkwood (100 W. Jefferson). Though it’s been selling books online since 2006, this is the first time customers will be able to visit the store, as well as view the impressive special collection of owner Robin Theiss.
“I’ve been a book collector almost all of my life,” says Theiss, “but it started out as a way for me to winnow down my own personal book collection. Over time, I started to buy estates and collections and putting the books that were marketable online and keeping the best ones for myself as a book hoarder. Eventually, it turned into a sideline. It was all with an aim to have a store someday, and that’s been a lifelong plan of mine. I’ve had to alter that plan and modify it because the times have changed.”
Though times have indeed changed, Theiss says she isn’t worried, because independent bookstores are making a comeback.
“It’s a very small store, and it’s very niche-oriented. We have to specialize because we don’t have a lot of space. And we want to specialize anyway, because we’re passionate about the books that we choose for the store. They’re largely creative books like literature and art and we have a huge children’s section—it’s almost half of our store.”
StLBooks offers a wide variety of new and used books, from New York Times Bestsellers to the works of emerging, local authors. What really sets this store apart, though, is the unique collection on display.
“I have one of Tennessee Williams’ original short stories,” says Theiss. “This story is amazing, because when you read it, there are a whole lot of different versions in the copies where he has started this story over and over again. The name of the story is “Stella for Star,” and he wrote it on a typewriter. You can even see his handwritten notes on it. When I get all of my memorabilia in the store where I want it to be, I think it will be like a mini-museum. It’s the tiniest store. It’s so small that it does limit what we do, but maybe we’ll enjoy being quaint and cozy.”
On the day of the grand opening, everything in the store will be 10 percent off. There will also be prize drawings throughout the day, giving away gift certificates. Throughout the rest of the holiday season, there will be a series of sales and specials in honor of the store’s grand opening.
StLBooks is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit stlbooks.com.
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