Where is it located? Edmond, Oklahoma
Bookstore online presence: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and bestofbooksok.com
How long have you owned the bookstore?
5 1/2 years
Why did you buy/open a bookstore?
My husband, Joe and I were living in Colorado Springs, and my daughter, Elena was finishing two years of teaching in Honduras. Joe and I decided to move back to Oklahoma because of our family, and Elena was ready for a change in careers. I had been in education for 30 years. Best of Books is very involved with schools, especially with Edmond Public Schools, and the most of the private schools in Edmond. The previous owners were ready to retire, and we wanted to continue this independent bookstore for the schools and the community. We felt this bookstore would be our way of serving the community together as a family. The bookstore community became part of our family, too.
What is the cool part of owning a bookstore?
Over the last five years, I have met hundreds of authors. I’ve had the opportunity to spend the day with them, eat lunch and dinner with them, hear their stories about writing and traveling many miles to meet their fans here.
I have the chance to take authors to many schools for thousands of school children to have the opportunity to meet and visit with an author. They share our love of books and seeing them share that love with children is very rewarding. We’ve had fans drive for 10 just to meet an author. It’s exciting for us to be able to offer these experiences for our community.
Any authors you think middle grade readers should check out?
Peter Lerangis, Kim Ventrella, Brad McLelland, Steve Sheinkin, Lynda Murphy Hunt, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Jonathan Auxier. I could recommend lots of authors, and I have read a ton of middle grade books. I continue to be impressed by the quality of these authors!
What is a hard part of owning a bookstore?
Balancing finances, keeping quality employees and have making sure we have outstanding customer service. We are fortunate that today we have among the best employees in the state, and the customers respond accordingly.
How has COVID-19 impacted your bookstore?
It has been very challenging financially and to serve our community. Our website sales have more that doubled since this has began, but we can’t have events or meet they’d favorite authors in person. That has hurt our business overall. We are not open to public, but are available Monday through Saturday 10-6 to help customers over the phone. We have curbside pick-up and free local delivery in Edmond. We offer free shipping over $50. Our top priority has been and will be to keep our employees and our customers safe and healthy.