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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Avid Reader expands into new location

Independent bookstore The Avid Reader will be expanding its offerings in its new additional location, which was previously occupied by toy store Alphabet Moon, at 605 Second Street.

The store will keep its previous location at 617 Second Street and move certain subject areas into the new store this spring, said owner Alzada Knickerbocker.

“The new store will house mostly action-related books, such as travel, cooking, gardening, home and sports,” Knickerbocker said. “What will stay will be fiction, mystery, science fiction, history, business and philosophy.”

The children’s section will mirror this separation of action-related genres.

“Crafts, games and sports will also be moving,” Knickerbocker said.

In view of the recent closing of Alphabet Moon, The Avid Reader plans to fill in for some of the services formerly offered by vending a selection of toys.

“There have been a lot of businesses that have gone and are missed,” said operations manager Nicholas Wiegand. “There are holes in what the downtown provides. Since there is no longer a toy store in Davis, we aim to give people what they are looking for.”

The store also plans to increase its selection of greeting cards.

“We have had a lot of demand for cards,” Knickerbocker said. “We lost a card store down here a few years ago, and this will also play on people’s interests.”

Knickerbocker attributes much of the store’s success and ability to expand to the closing of Borders.

“We weathered the storm of chain bookstores and managed to stay in business,” she said. “When Borders came, they cut my business in half. With their being gone, there’s a lot more activity.”

“With the expansion, we hope to capture a new audience, some of whom in the past were customers of Borders,” Wiegand said. “We want to provide everything they got there and more.”

Both Knickerbocker and Wiegand said the store tries to take customer feedback in stride, hence the expanded offering of books and other items.

“Being an independent, small store, we sell a combination of things we believe people would be interested in, but we also have a suggestion box, and we listen to all of that,” Knickerbocker said.

“We weren’t always given a chance because of Borders, but we’re always trying to do things to appeal to our customers in general,” Wiegand said.

Janis Lott, co-owner of Newsbeat, welcomed The Avid Reader’s expansion as she believes the store’s expanded offerings will benefit the community economically.

“Having more retail is good for the Davis economy,” Lott said. “It’s wonderful when local independent business owners can develop downtown.”

Though both stores will now be selling cards, Lott is confident the two stores will complement each other.

“At first, my reaction was, ‘What do you mean, you’re going to be selling greeting cards?’” Lott joked. “But this way, we are better able to meet the needs of the public at large.”

Lott hopes that the increased selection of retail at The Avid Reader will continue a trend of retail downtown.

“We’re invested in making Davis a wonderful place to come and have interesting places to stop into,” Lott said. “There has been a nationwide increase in restaurants dominating downtowns, but we want to make sure ours is not solely restaurant-driven.”

EINAT GILBOA can be reached city@theaggie.org.


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