By CAITLIN WHERLEY
You’ve probably passed Village Books while driving down Paris Road on the north side of Columbia and wondered about the independent bookstore was doing next to Jo-Ann Fabrics.
“When we opened, we wanted to be that corner store,” Becky Asher said. “We’re like the bookstore version of ‘Cheers.’”
Asher and co-owner Doug Wilson have heard their share of stories since opening the independent bookstore six years ago at 1812 Paris Road. In September, the store moved to its current location at 1810-A Paris Road, in the same strip mall.
“We picked the north side of town because there aren’t any true retail stores,” said Wilson. “But lots of people live out here.”
Village Books is active in the Blue Ridge-Oakland neighborhood, sponsoring church and school events. The store also runs a booth at the Renaissance Fair and helps with raffles for tickets to Columbia events.
Village Books stocks fiction, nonfiction, magazines and handles special orders for customers.
Village Books sells new books at 25 percent off the publishers’ price. The store also offers trade-a-book, in which a customer purchases a used book from Village Books, reads it, decides he or she doesn’t want it anymore and brings it back. The customer is then given half of what they paid for the book originally.
Besides reading materials, Village Books has a book group, Chick Lit & Chocolate. It allows readers to gather together and talk about what they’ve been reading, no matter what it is, Wilson said.
And if you enjoy reading but don’t know what to read next, Asher, Wilson and their employees can help.
Upcoming vents at Village Books:
- Chick Lit & Chocolate — fourth Friday of every month, 6:30 p.m.
- Olivia Cunning book signing — Saturday, Oct. 23, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.