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Change is constant at I Love Books Bookstore

T. Glen Moody, Ph.D., Curator, and Katherine Scoggins • Sep 4, 2018 at 4:31 PM

After I finished the Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership I spent 5 years in post-doctoral research teaching doctoral students Organizational Behavior, Organizational Culture and Change, Decision Science, and Behavioral Economics. In every class and research project we delved into the many facets and tiers of organizational structures, processes and changes. Not to anyone's surprise, we found time and again that (a) change in organizations is necessary and (b) we all hate change.

Irish writer George Bernard Shaw said “progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” The old expression “the only thing constant is change” is true in life and business, and especially true in the book business where an average of 5,000 new book titles are produced every day.

The effect is that when a new book is published an older title goes out of print, so instead of just working with 5 million books in print, we typically work with a database of 5 million books in print plus nearly 100 million titles that are out of print (in English). Welcome to the “new AND used” book business.

I Love Books Bookstore has about 400 different categories of books, many which include both new and used books. Because a category may have between 12 and 2,000 titles, new categories and sub-categories are continuously added and categories are relocated to different places in the store, depending on space, demand and utility.

We have just expanded our quilting books, classic car books, woodworking books and architectural books. We're reducing our selection of business books (currently 2,000 titles), some fiction, and other slower categories. That means we constantly have numerous price reductions and sales' tables in the store and outside the front of the store.

The majority of new book titles are released in the fall of the year, so we're trying to make more room. Embrace the change, the bargains and the wide selection of books at I Love Books Bookstore. You'll be glad you did.

Speaking of new book titles...

This year has produced two from popular regional author Dr. Lin Stepp - book 11 in her Smoky Mountain Novels series and "Discovering Tennessee State Parks" co-authored with husband J.L. Stepp. The Stepps will sign copies of their books from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8, at I Love Books Bookstore.

The Stepps “specialize” in writing books about Tennessee State Parks and pack their websites and blogs with folksy information and lots of wonderful photos.

In a recent phone interview with columnist Katherine Scoggins, Dr. Stepp explained what drove her to start writing the Nature Guide Books - and what inspired the works of fiction.

“J.L. and I liked to walk - not the long, strenuous hikes, the moderate-paced hikes. But we could never find books on hikes that we could find out much about,” Dr. Stepp explained.

They hiked 110 hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains to write their first guidebook, “The Afternoon Hiker” and then explored 56 Tennessee State Parks over a two-year period, culminating in their latest book “Discovering Tennessee State Parks.” They love to get out of doors and are already starting another guidebook.

One of those individuals who excels at multitasking, Dr. Stepp made it her goal to complete two novels a year.

“I’ve always been a reader,” she explains, “and I grew up in these mountains. The people here are honest people with good stories to tell. That’s the type of stories I wanted to read. According to my publisher, a lot of other people wanted to read those stories, too, but there weren’t any available, so I started writing them.”

And, based on her success, they were a huge hit - resulting in her reaching bestseller status in the publishing world.

“I write about people I know, that we’ve met in our travels and people that live the kind of lives we live. I travel in the Smoky Mountains and around the Appalachian area a lot of the time. I stop in small towns, at music festivals, and like to visit old homesteads and farms,” she said.

Dr. Stepp’s enthusiasm for this part of the country is infectious. She has been called “a wonderful ambassador of this area.” Her books are popular with teachers, grandmothers, teens and a certain East Tennessee singer and actress (Dolly).”

“I thought it would be a good idea to get Dolly Parton interested in some of my fiction and Dolly loves my books. By her request, I send her a copy of every new Smoky Mountain novel released,” Dr. Stepp shared. All of the books have wide appeal. “My books are clean and decent - they don’t deal with a lot of questionable conduct or graphic issues.”

Come meet the Stepps and purchase their books at I Love Books Bookstore this Saturday (Sept. 8) from 2 to 4 p.m. I Love Books is located on the upper level of the Fort Henry Mall in Kingsport.