Way of the Entrepreneur: The Book Shop, Poplar Bluff
The romance, danger, adventure, enlightenment, and companionship we experience through reading books…These all await within the friendly precincts of The Book Shop, the cozy little used-book emporium located on Main Street just across from the Poplar Bluff Public Library.
With a few comfortable chairs, no fire-breathing hard-sell, and an understated BYOC (Bring Your Own Coffee) vibe, The Book Shop is a booklover’s playground, crammed from back to front with inexpensive delights. It houses literary classics, love stories, whodunits, horror tales, science fiction, westerns, biographies, histories, religious writings, “how-to’s”, cookbooks, recent bestsellers, time-honored children’s stories, and quite the collection of comic books and magazines, too.
Along with the already-discounted prices on his stock, shop owner and operator Tony Miller offers customers book-buying credits for their trade-ins, and gift certificates and special-order services are available, too. Periodic sales during the year give shoppers even more to smile about as they scour the shelves for the authors they love, and encounter intriguing new possibilities along the way.
Given the range of titles to be found at The Book Shop, it is not unheard of for both leisure-readers and students alike to check Miller’s shelves before buying retail at other locations. “If you’re a reader, you can save money coming in here,” says Miller.
Miller does not feel that the human desire to sit down with a “traditional” book will go the way of the lambada anytime soon. “I know there are some people who say that the book will become outmoded as more material becomes available on computerized screens, but I don’t believe that,” says Miller, who himself is no slouch in the area of computer facility. “There’s certainly room for the electronic book,” he says, “but there will always be people like me who love the physical book, and who will enjoy that over the onscreen option”.
In addition to those who stop in on occasion, Miller’s shop has a substantial core of longstanding regulars whose reading tastes he knows by heart. Among these are customers who speak of an actual need for weekly or monthly “re-charging” among the stacks at The Book Shop!
A Poplar Bluff resident since childhood, North-Carolina-born Miller worked a series of retail jobs here after taking a degree in art from Three Rivers Community College. Apparently one of these entailed five days of unmitigated horror behind the counter at a local pizza parlor. “That wasn’t for me, God bless them,” he recalls, from the relative safety and comfort of his cheerfully cluttered office area. With the help of his mother, former Poplar Bluff City children’s librarian Carol Miller (who has an alcove of collectibles for sale in the shop), Miller followed his passion into the bookselling trade in 2004.
You might just want to follow your own passion to The Book Shop on Main; from there, in the words of Dr. Seuss…Oh, the places you’ll go!
The Book Shop, 320 N. Main Street, Poplar Bluff. Tel: 573-778-1508.
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