Two new places to read; one great cause in need of your old CDs and DVDs.
• Montford Books & More (31 Montford Ave., Asheville, 280-1303) is set to open its doors this Friday, Jan.16. Owner Kay Manley, who took over the space formerly occupied by The Reader’s Corner, says this business is “something I’ve always been interested in. It seemed like a good opportunity.”
Manley says the new store will be similar to its predecessor “as far as selection and quality” with a focus on used books, DVDs, CDs and vinyl.
Some changes: Beginning Friday, complimentary coffee and tea will be available until Manley gets her beverage station up to speed. The bookstore will offer drinks and snacks for sale (though don’t expect full-cafe fare such as bagels or sandwiches). Readers wanting more than a shopping experience are invited to hang out -— there will places to sit and wireless. Manley says she wants Montford Books & More to feel like “a neighborhood retreat.”
Hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
• Battery Park Book Exchange (1 Battle Sq., Asheville, 252-0020), an elegantly appointed sprawl of rooms fit with couches, wide shelves and oriental rugs, has recently moved into the Battery Park Hotel building. The space is set to open around the first week of February, according to owner Thomas Wright. Wright, with wife Donna, also owns seasonal bookstore Little Switzerland Book Exchange on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The Wrights’ downtown Asheville business promises a wide range of subject matter, a vast collection of used books and new books on local subjects, North Carolina and Southern history. While the already stocked upstairs area — visible from street level — looks to be a treasure trove for lit fans, Wright explains that Battery Park Book Exchange also includes “about 2,000 square feet in the basement” which “we’re jamming with a minefield of books.”
How will this store be like its area competition? The Wrights will accept used books in exchange for cash or store credit. What’s different? This business also boasts a champagne bar. “We’ll serve wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages,” Wright notes. “We call it a champagne bar to distinguish because hopefully we’ll have the best collection of sparkling wines and true champagnes.”
As such, the store will stay open a bit later than other book sellers — ‘til about 8 p.m. during the winter and, once warmer weather arrives, until 10 p.m. so customers can take advantage of outdoor seating.
“It’s a small bar and a pretty good-sized bookstore,” Wright says. “More library-like than bar-like.”
• Arts2People’s used CD and DVD sale is the perfect opportunity to read more (unload your CDs and DVDs to make room for more books while donating to a worthy cause) or read less (buy second-hand CDs and DVDs while funding to a worthy cause):
” Arts2People, the local nonprofit organization that has been fostering grass-roots independent art in Asheville for years, is seeking donations of used music CDs and music/movie DVDs of all genres. These items are to be used in a fundraiser to sustain the second annual workshop series ‘With our Hands,’ which provides free art classes to all, but especially sexual assault survivors working with Our Voice, with the intent of invoking the power of creativity to aid in the healing process.”
To donate, call Miss Kitty at 216-8815 and she’ll pick up your cast-offs, or bring them to the Arts2People Office (101 S. Lexington Ave.). Hours are Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sales volunteers are also needed.)
CDs and DVDs will be sold for $2 each on Saturday, Jan. 31, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the French Broad Food Co-op (outside if the weather is nice, upstairs in the Co-op’s community room in inclement weather), and Sunday, February 1, 12-5 p.m. at Firestorm Cafe & Books (48 Commerce St., Asheville, 255-8115).
— Alli Marshall, A&E reporter