Chattahoochee Main Street hosted a pop-up event to promote a new bookstore in Marianna on Wednesday, March 1.
Jay Player, the owner and proprietor of A New Chapter: Books and More, offered a selection of his books to the Chattahoochee Main Street office on Washington Street from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
“Today’s event is to try to broaden my reach, and reach out to people who might not be able to make it to Marianna to buy books. Also, to raise awareness for the bookstore I have in Marianna,” Player explained.
Pam Medley, the president of Chattahoochee Main Street, was also at the event.
“This is a testing of the waters,” said Medley. “Our Mainstreet program loves collaboration. That’s how we revitalize. That’s how we grow. People collaborating and businesses collaborating.”
A New Chapter opened on November 11, 2022, and is located at 2863 Caledonia Street in Marianna.
“I’ve always been an avid reader,” said Player, who is a retired probation officer. “And about the middle of August last year a co-worker who is also a big reader said to me at lunch that she was tired of driving to Dothan to buy books. She said, ‘Hey, you’re fixing to retire, why don’t you open a bookstore?’ The more I thought about it, the more it sounded like a good idea. I did some research online, and what I found is that in towns the size of Marianna, independent locally owned bookstores are actually doing very well.”
In addition to selling books, A New Chapter offers items such as bookends, reading blankets, stationary, and dice (for Dungeons and Dragons and other role playing games).
The store also offers its own, exclusive line of scented candles.
Player also works to connect to the community by hosting a variety of events for the public.
“I try to have something at the bookstore every weekend. One Saturday a month we do Storytime. We did a Guys Night with a bourbon tasting, and we did a Ladies Night, which was by far the most successful event. We had 52 people in there at one time.”
Player is also hosting a Dungeons and Dragons group at the store for those who are interested in learning the popular role playing game.
For those who missed the pop-up event on March 1, Player is planning to return to Chattahoochee Main Street on April 5, and also as a vendor for the upcoming Final Friday event in April.
A New Chapter is currently open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
For more information and an event calendar, you can find A New Chapter on Facebook.
Stephen Klein – Gadsden County News Service