Blue Jacket is Back!

Blue Jacket Books

by Ed Davis on March 8, 2013

After the Flood

Just wanted to let you know, if you don’t already, that Xenia’s Blue Jacket Books (BJB) is back in business, better than ever, after a burst water pipe destroyed 20,000 books in January 2013. They’ve now moved to 54 South Detroit Street, just a few storefronts north of their former location (the old Xenia Gazette/Democrat Party HQ offices), and it’s a really nice, large space with room to expand.

Refusing to Go Gently

If you haven’t already heard about the inspiring story of how BJB’s disaster became bliss, check out the story on their Facebook site, including the blog of Zhenya Dzhavgova, of ZH Books in California–describing how two national booksellers’ organizations as well as the local book-lovers’ community came to BJB’s aid with financial support, donations, muscle and meals. Not only were thousands of great books donated—including one bookseller’s entire inventory of 4,000—but also money was donated to ship books all the way from Michigan! (View “Xenia Book Drop” on YouTube to get a feel for the new-old store’s revival.)

“We simply refused to accept the involuntary demise of a bookstore,” Dzhavgova said. How sweet it is that such sacred spaces where we share words, wisdom and some of our best thoughts don’t have to go the way of big-box stores like Border’s; that they can be saved at the grassroots level by me and you.

Big Plans

BJB owner Lawrence Hammar described to me his plans to install the facilities enabling him to serve coffee and tea, sandwiches, soups and desserts. (I recommended he consider selling Stoney Creek Coffee, from the fine roaster in Cedarville). Of course that might take a while, but I’m hoping Blue Jacket Bookstore/Cafe might be a biking destination by summer or fall of this year.

Please join me in supporting one of the last remaining independent bookstores in our area. Lawrence was happy to receive my box of books, mostly literary fiction, since the literature section, from F to Z, was mostly wiped out in the flood. But while a dumpster’s worth of books were ruined, you wouldn’t know it, due to the donations. They had the book I wanted yesterday, gently used, for three bucks.

Please visit and do what you can!

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