Philly’s Oldest Black Book Store Builds Community Through Sharing Knowledge

When Dawud Hakim opened Hakim’s Book Store in 1959, it was more because he was compelled to share knowledge with the wider community than because he saw an unfilled niche, although both were true. Hakim was inspired by newfound knowledge. “He became intrigued after he read some books by the author Joel Augustus Rogers, Five … Read more

A Secret Passage and a Plan for the Future at Your Brother’s Bookstore

It happened the way you’d expect it to happen in a movie—workmen uncovered a secret passage while renovating an old shop. They’d been contracted by brothers Adam and Sam Morris to redo the floors as the pair prepared to convert a defunct ballet studio into what became Your Brother’s Bookstore.  The pair held their breath … Read more

What if Punching Nazis is the Only Way to Fight Fascism?

How the mob saved America from 1930s fascism in Gangsters Versus Nazis The Depression-Era violence perpetrated against U.S. citizens by the government, from strike-busting by National Guard troops to General Douglas McArthur gassing WWI veterans on the Washington Mall, is shocking even by today’s standards. That’s to say nothing of the Japanese internment camps, the … Read more

The Greyhound Fills a Bookstore-Sized Hole in a Thriving Downtown

When The Greyhound opened, it fit neatly into a bookstore-shaped hole in Berlin, MD. Berlin is one of those traditional-looking small towns that has undergone a 21st-century revival. Once home mostly to various degrees of “antique” shops, the last decade has seen the second-hand places give way to restaurants, tonier boutiques, and shops. It was … Read more

‘Hello, Bookstore’ Is the Look at the Pandemic You Need to See

It’s hard to imagine a more effective accidental pandemic story than the one told by director A.B. Zax in the forthcoming Hello Bookstore. While the spoiler is right in the logline—In the shadow of the pandemic, a small town rallies to protect a beloved local bookstore—that wasn’t the film Zax set out to make in … Read more

This Mountain Town Bookshop Is Having an Unexpected New Normal

When he opened Main Street Books in 1988, Fred Powell’s plan was limited to serving the community. He had no experience in writing or publishing nor did he have a love of books greater than any other educated person. He had adopted Frostburg and wanted to start a business that his neighbors said they thought … Read more