By Collin Kelley
Intown’s beleaguered independent bookstore scene is facing another possible closure with the announcement that Bound To Be Read Books in East Atlanta Village has been put up for sale by owner Jeff McCord.
Bound the Be Read opened eight years ago this month during the East Atlanta Strut. Since then, it’s played host to hundreds of signings, book club meetings, poetry readings, fundraisers and has become a destination for book lovers from around the city. The long, narrow space on Flat Shoals Avenue in the heart of EAV harkens back to a time when every neighborhood had a cool, indie bookstore. Bound to Be Read even has a beloved bookstore cat, Kona, who loves to sleep in the front window and slink between the bookshelves.
McCord said the decision to sell the shop has been difficult, but what most probably don’t know is that Bound to Be Read is actually his second career. McCord works full-time in the communications department for the State of Georgia, while also working full-time at the store. “It means I’ve been working 80 or 90 hour weeks, and I just can’t keep up that pace.”
McCord said work and family commitments have kept him from being able to properly run and market the store. “I need to be there during the day, hosting more events, going to schools, selling books and off-site events,” he said. “But I just can’t keep up.”
McCord said it’s a challenging time for bookstores everywhere. “That doesn’t mean that things are hopeless, or that bookstores are all doomed. I don’t believe that.”
He noted that there are still successful bookstores around and – even with the increasing ubiquity of eBooks and tablets – there will always be a need for bookstores. One thing going for Bound to Be Read is its loyal customer base for the eclectic mix of new and gently-used books that line the walls.
“When we first opened, we had a gentleman who would come into the store every six months or so and tell me that the store would never last for long,” McCord said. “He never bought anything, of course, and he eventually stopped coming in after about the third year.”
McCord said he plans to keep the store open as long as possible until the right buyer steps forward, stating that he simply can’t “pull the plug” because it would be unfair to the community. Potential buyers can call the store at (404) 522-0877 or email McCord at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I’m extremely proud and humbled by the support our customers, friends and neighbors have given Bound to Be Read. This is a dream job for me, and I have loved every minute of it,” McCord said.