Bookishly's Meet the Stockist with Bookish. 📖
Welcome back to our 'Meet the Stockist' series! We're really excited to share our interview with the wonderful Scott from Bookish (bookish_kop), an independent bookstore based in Philadelphia.
1. What's the name of your shop and where are you based?
Bookish is the name of our store and we are located in the King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, PA in the Philadelphia suburbs. It is the third largest mall in the U.S. and there hadn’t been any bookstore there since Borders closed in 2011.
2. What inspired you to open your shop?
That answer will require a little history. My wife and I have run a writers conference and online community for authors of fantasy and science fiction called Realm Makers for the past 10 years and host a judged awards program for the last 7 years. We have been selling books by the award winning authors we know at special events as a mobile bookstore since 2017. We regularly travel to events across the country like homeschool conventions, book festivals, and fantasy/sci-fi cons. Anywhere from 5-8 authors will join us everywhere we go and we have had increasing success selling books that way.
3. What year did you set up?
By 2019 we had a ton of books sitting in our garage, basement, and trailer so we experimented with a pop-up bookstore in “The Court" side of the King of Prussia Mall for just 5 weeks, between Thanksgiving and New Years. The mall wanted us to stay but we decided against it. We had done OK but not well enough to be confident that this was the right location. Then the mall kept calling! I suggested they reach out again if there is ever an available spot in “The Plaza,” the busier side of the mall. It took a couple years but a spot finally opened up in the part of the mall we wanted and so we said yes. Our grand opening was in August 2021.
4. What's your favourite thing about running your shop?
Selling my wife’s books! Becky has two fantasy trilogies that are written in a world she originally created as a Dungeon Master playing DnD in college. That’s actually how we met. Needless to say, we have an epic DnD section in our store.
5. What piece of advice would you give to past you at the start of your journey?
I feel like I’m still at the start of my journey! Everyone wants to have all their ducks in a row when the start but that’s pretty much impossible to do. I regret none of my mistakes! :)
6. What’s your favourite book?
Divine Summons, by Rebecca P. Minor (A shameless plug for my wife’s book.)
7. What’s your proudest achievement since you first opened?
I am proudest that we have many incredibly good books that you are simply never going to find in another bookstore due to the fact that they are published by a small press, or are self-published yet have won our book award so we KNOW the book is fantastic. There are a couple that are special editions that you can only get from the author directly and not available on Amazon. I love it when folks who work at B&N come to our store and wonder how as a tiny store we have so many books they’ve never seen before. I know I can’t win the battle to have every book so I am focusing on our own unique strength.
8. What's your favourite Bookishly product?
The framed book quotes are the most “Bookish” thing I’ve ever seen and our customers love them too!
Go show them some love! Give them a follow, or maybe even a visit?!