Books on the Square, Virden, Ill., will host a grand opening of its new branch store in Springfield with numerous events this weekend. The State Journal-Register reported that the second location, "which specializes in new, used and rare books plus book searches, had a 'soft opening' October 1 at its branch at 427 E. Washington St."
The Virden shop, owned by John and Jeannie Alexander, has been in business for 25 years. Their son Mike, a lobbyist based in Chicago who spends a lot of time in Springfield, purchased the building there six years ago and offered them a deal they couldn't refuse.
"Half of his storefront was empty, and he just asked me if I would bring some books up here, and I couldn't say no, so here I am," John Alexander said.
Books on the Square's Springfield location "includes a storeroom that will be converted into a rare book/collectibles room. The bookstore has use of adjoining space for things such as the author events that will take place Saturday and Sunday," the State Journal-Register wrote.
"That's what we're really focusing now in Springfield, on things like that," Alexander added. "If there's anything I sense about what we can do downtown, I think it might be more along the line of events and possibly new books. There's not a new bookstore in downtown Springfield, and we're not going to be one, but I mean we might carry more new books because we'll be doing author things, and with the lack of a new bookstore downtown, we might try to fill a little niche there, too.
"We're kind of feeling our way along. I learned long ago, I think, in the book business you have to kind of find out what people want. What I would like to sell them, and what they want are two different things."