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Last year, just before the pandemic upended what was left of 2020, local independent bookstore Nightbird Books closed its doors on Dickson Street after 14 years in business.
For used and out-of-print books, of course, Fayetteville still has the beloved Dickson Street Bookshop.
But Nightbird’s closing left a hole in a city that, as Fayetteville Public Library director of development Christina Karnatz explained to us as the library was preparing to reopen last winter, “People in Fayetteville really like their books.”
That hole will be filled again soon.
Locals Leah and Daniel Jordan plan to open a brand-new, locally-owned and independent bookshop just off the Fayetteville square this fall.
The couple recently leased the space at 28 E Center Street, just off the Fayetteville square across from Petra and A Taste of Thai, and plans to open Pearl’s Books.
The name is in memory of a beloved family dog that passed away.
Like it has for many Americans, the COVID-19 pandemic led the Jordan’s to start thinking more about their priorities, and taking more seriously some of their longtime dreams.
Pearl’s Books owners Daniel and Leah Jordan
“It had been in the back of our mind for a while,” Leah said. “From March 2020 on, I started thinking about it more often, and hinting about it more, joking ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if.'”
“This January, Daniel said, ‘What if we did just open a bookstore? I was immediately on board,” Leah said.
Driving around downtown one day in February, Leah said she saw the space on Center Street. She called the landlord, and things have been progressing quickly ever since.
“It was pretty fast,” she said. “A lot faster than we expected.”
Leah said the walkability of downtown, proximity to the Farmers’ Market and other downtown events, and the community of local business owners in the neighborhood were all major selling points for the location.
The camaraderie downtown was a factor for Daniel as well.
“Small, local businesses support each other, and just being a part of that downtown is super cool,” he said.
The shop will focus on new works of fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, and more.
“We’ll be kind of a general-interest bookshop, not necessarily a specialty shop,” Daniel said.
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