JudyBug’s Books (Columbus, GA) is known for it's collection of old, used, rare, and new titles. Whether you need to pick up a certain book or need a recommendation, Alek Slusarchuk and his team are knowledgeable and always there to help. Not only is JudyBug’s Books a place for eager readers, but it is an oasis for children to stay during town festivities or a cozy place to meet with friends. It has it all: great coffee, great books, and great company.
This Independent Bookstore Day, we reached out to indie stores and asked them to share their story with us. Alek shared with us what makes JudyBug’s Books so unique.
Q: What does being an independent bookstore mean to you?
A: It means putting the right book into the right reader's hands. It means finding the right first book for non-readers and having them become avid readers as a result of their discoveries.
Q: What makes your store unique?
A: We specialize in new, used, rare, and collectible books, and because of this, we never meet a stranger. Our bookstore is also named after my mother. She was a devout fighter for arts education for over 30 years. When she retired, I decided to honor her by naming my bookstore after her nickname, Judybug.
Q: If you could bring any author to your store for an event, who would it be and why?
A: Although I'm a huge fan of Daniel Wallace and Christopher Moore, I would love to have Michael Malone for an author visit. I've been selling his book for many years now, and I call him my “best-seller buster.” I tell people, that after they’ve read the "right" books, they need to read Malone to discover the “good” books.
Q: How did you get into the book selling business and acquire your own store?
A: When I was a teenager, I ran away to join the circus. There was no circus in town, but there was a large, independent bookstore. That is how I started in the book industry. Years later, I moved back home again, and I discovered that there weren't any indie bookstores. So, I opened my own.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about running a bookstore?
A: It is rewarding to see a customer return asking for another recommendation. Also, I’ve watched children grow up in my bookstore, and they are now avid reading adults.
Want to learn more about how you can support your local bookstore? The Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation is dedicated to financially assisting booksellers all over the country. Join us in their mission to strengthen the bookselling community by donating here.