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I Love Books Bookstore serves a broad range of interests, experiences

Marsha Salley • Oct 8, 2012 at 2:51 AM

Dr. Glen Moody tells his doctoral students in leadership studies that vulnerability is the most desirable trait for leaders and organizations. Vulnerability is a trait that Dr. Moody has sought to exemplify through operation of his 'day job,' running I Love Books Bookstore in the Kingsport Town Center (Fort Henry Mall), as he serves customers from a broad range of interests, academic levels, and experiences.

His premise doesn't bring many hearty 'Amens' from the students because most of us have been taught that vulnerability is a bad thing, he says.

"Humans have a deep-seated fear that, if we let people know who we really are, we open ourselves to being hurt and manipulated, so we tend to present a caricature of ourselves through our personal interactions instead of just being who we really are," Dr. Moody continues.

This is not just a philosophical stance that he has taken, but the cornerstone of his professional and personal life.

From his bookstore, he answers questions rapidly and readily, both for customers who are looking for product information as well as those who want to engage in conversations about books, publishing and learning. This, I think to myself, is the way bookstores are meant to be - not just a place to buy, but to ask questions of someone who is passionate about books and about the intellectual process. Dr. Moody is such a bookstore owner.

Moody entered the book business in 1967 when he was a junior in high school, selling Thompson Chain Reference Bibles door-to-door. He continued selling books during Bible College and while enrolled at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School near Chicago. Moody opened a bookstore in Kingsport and has been involved in the retail, wholesale and mail order/Internet book business since that time. He completed a second master’s degree and a PhD in Organizational Leadership. He moved his bookstore to the Fort Henry Mall in 2010 and continues to mentor graduate students - when he’s not putting in 100-hour weeks at I Love Books. (Moody currently teaches leadership courses at Oxford Graduate School near Chattanooga).

I mention the display of "Blood Feud: The Hatfields and the McCoys" about the historic feud that brought in big viewers on the History Channel this year.

"I've enjoyed getting to know the region's most famous author over the past couple of years," Moody says. Lisa Reed Alther is a nationally-known, rather than local author, who is a big hit in the Kingsport area where she grew up.

True to form, Dr. Moody addresses some inaccuracies in the miniseries. His wide array of knowledge is not intimidating or presented in a "look what I know" manner, which reveals that his current topic of study, "vulnerability," has truly been incorporated into his way of life.

"The only way to be honest is to be vulnerable," he says.

Shoppers, readers, and life-long learners are welcome and will find a real kindred spirit in the I Love Books Bookstore. On the top level of the Fort Henry Mall (Kingsport Town Center), I Love Books is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 6 p.m. on Sundays. A large array of Christian books, as well as fiction and best sellers, are available with some of the best prices in town.

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