DeMoir Books & Things Reopens in New Memphis Location

DeMoir Books & Things, Memphis, Tenn., which launched in 2021 at the Cloverleaf shopping center but had to switch to an online model in January 2023, has reopened as a bricks-and-mortar operation at 55 S. Main St. as part of the Downtown Memphis Commission's Open on Main initiative, the Business Journal reported. 

Owner and founder Jeremee DeMoir, who has taken on local poet Diana Townsend as a business partner, recalled that when he launched the store, business was booming, but then faded during the second year before flourishing again as an online operation. The co-owners work together at Literacy Mid-South, and it was Townsend who came upon the Open on Main initiative and suggested they partner on the new iteration of DeMoir Books. 

"I'm an avid reader turned writer," she said. "When I saw it, I thought, 'This will be perfect for us.' We said, 'We'll just put it out there and see what happens.' "

The new location, which specializes in titles with BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ representation, is larger than the original DeMoir Books. The shop also highlights books by DeMoir and Townsend. 

"We wanted to make sure that we have enough space to expand and add new things," DeMoir said. "We have a larger collection and we're offering merchandise and things like that. We wanted to keep the same intimate, cozy vibe [of DeMoir Books], but shift our focus a little bit. We still have our young adult collection, our adult fiction and nonfiction, and our children's collection.... We want to serve readers across the lifespan. It starts with our babies, and then works all the way up to 100."

He added that it was a terrific vote of confidence to get selected for the Open on Main initiative: "For me, as a person who started a business during the pandemic and was nervous about what that was going to look like and was worried about longevity, it's very affirming to hear people say, 'No, you're doing the right thing. We need this.' People love it and are invested in it, so that's really amazing."

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