Nearby Ninth Street bookstores celebrate August birthdays

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Columbia book lovers experience an embarrassment of literary riches traveling one side of Ninth Street. August will bring even more delights as two beloved bookstores, just steps away from each other, will celebrate their anniversaries.

The Yellow Dog Bookstore at 8 S. Ninth Street celebrates its ninth anniversary on August 6, while the Skylark Bookstore at 22 S. Ninth Street celebrates its fourth anniversary on August 27.

Opened by the husband-and-wife team of Joe Chevalier and Kelsey Hammond, Yellow Dog is named after Scout, the “yellow lab mix” the couple adopted in 2007, according to the store’s website; named after Harper Lee’s heroine, Scout died in 2018.

The store represents the realization of a dream for Chevalier and Hammond, “a small place where poetry readings, children’s story time and author readings could thrive in a supportive community,” the site notes.

As part of the Yellow Dog celebration, the store will feature a new design in its ever-smart window display, “Blind Date Books…Surprise Book Bags, and a few other fun surprises,” according to a Facebook post.

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Opened by novelist and Unbound Book Festival founder Alex George, Skylark offers a wide variety of events and author readings that attract national and local writers. A recent Publishers Weekly article described the relationship between Skylark and Unbound as “symbiotic” and mutually beneficial.

The article also outlines the steps taken by the store during the pandemic to maintain its quality and reinvent its offerings. They include hiring a “virtual bookseller” who, among other things, hosts live book discussions on social media.

A preview of the Skylark Bookstore in 2021.

“We’re having a lot of fun continuing to come up with new ways to promote authors,” George told Publishers Weekly. “The bookstore was the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Skylark’s celebration will include giveaways to buying customers and the presence of “a ton of local authors” who will read, sign and even recommend books, according to a blog post. The store will also launch a new T-shirt.

Learn more about these stores at http://www.yellowdogbookshop.com/ and https://www.skylarkbookshop.com/, respectively.

Aarik Danielsen is the Features and Culture Editor for Tribune. Contact him at [email protected] or by calling 573-815-1731. Find him on Twitter @aarikdanielsen.


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