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Sunday Stories

I Love Books Bookstore owner Glen Moody believes one 'cannot live without books'

June 18th, 2012 12:35 pm by Susan Kendrick Lauhoff

In 1815, Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to John Adams, "I cannot live without books."


Glen Moody, owner of I Love Books Bookstore, understands that sentiment. Having attended TEDS (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School - the Harvard for the study of theology), he craves knowledge and determined over 45 years ago that he would surround himself with the written word.


More than 100,000 books and five bookstores later with two PhDs and two Masters behind his name, the former Kingsport City Schools' board member recently decided to start downsizing.


"When I went into my kitchen to find a book, I knew it was time to start clearing out some of the inventory," admits Moody with a grin as he doffs a TEDS baseball cap.


Now Moody owns just one bookstore with a huge warehouse full of very organized books on assorted subjects. And, fortunately for him, news from the June’s ABA (American Booksellers Association) "Shelf Awareness" noted that independent bookstore membership has grown for the third straight year. ABA CEO Oren Teicher commented, "In the first 20 weeks of the year, sales at indies have risen 13.4 percent." Indies is slang for independent retail booksellers.


The trend just a few years ago was that the large chain stores overshadowed the indies, making it harder for them to compete and stay in business. Teicher shared that, "Now more than ever, customers appreciate our curated selection; our local ownership and close ties to our towns and cities; our many in-store events; and the opportunity to connect face-to-face in our stores with other passionate readers." In addition, he believes that indies do a better job, "discovering, championing, and launching notable writers and showcasing outstanding fiction and nonfiction."


San Francisco no longer has any chain bookstores. However, the city currently is home to 35 independent booksellers. It is a trend spreading across the country as the big box bookstores are closing.


The ABA and Google eBooks will part ways in January 2013, giving the ABA more options for a robust and flexible program. Moody said, "The book business has not been decimated by online sales and eBooks; it has been decimated by unimaginable shrinkage in the number of books purchased in any form."


Research determined that book sales in the U.S. declined 10 percent between 1990 and 2000.


"That, in turn, reflected the immediate popularity and then rapid decline of the big box bookstores; suddenly, the supply exceeded the demand," he elaborated.


Most often readers think that books are cheaper online, but sales frequently prove otherwise.


I Love Books Bookstore not only carries new releases, but has a huge inventory of used and old books as well. And, one aspect of selling books in the store is the "Twenty for Twenty" discount program where customers will receive 20 percent off any book over $20, simply by joining the weekly email booklover's list.


Visit Moody and enjoy an adventure through time at I Love Books Bookstore. Perhaps even relive the era of 1815 when Jefferson could read a book as a pure form of entertainment. Open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 6 p.m., on Sunday, I Love Books Bookstore is conveniently located next to The Italian Village on the upper level outside JC Penney’s inside Kingsport Town Center.


For more information, please call 423-378-5859 or visit www.ILoveBooksStore.com or email glenmoody@charter.net.

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