JACKSON HOLE, WYO – For Susie Temple, the re-opening of her new bookstore (she purchased Jackson Hole Book Trader early last year) was a dream come true. An ambition of a lifetime.
Temple had always imagined herself as a bookstore owner. She loved them when they weren’t hip, she loved them when they were. Temple even worked in the independent local store in 1999, a year after it opened in the Powderhorn Mall. Now, again, the community bookstore all across America has returned from ashes after everyone said it was finished. Online sellers cannot copy charm.
“I had always pictured myself owning a bookstore since graduate school, really. It seemed such a romantic notion,” Temple said. “I talked off and on with Cindy [Parker, co-owner with Allison Parker] for years. I was also thinking about starting one in Wilson where I live.”
Temple’s persistence paid off. The Parkers were ready to close down the bookstore in February. A month later, the place was all Temple’s.
But it wasn’t Temple’s place.
She had a vision for what she wanted the bookstore to look like. More importantly, Temple had Jen Langston. Langston Design transformed Book Trader into a trendy-looking space with a roomy modern feel and inviting book nooks.
“It’s looking awesome,” Temple declared. “Our vision was to make it a really special space, more flexible for things like readings and signings. We did a bookstore tour in June in New York City for inspiration.”
The store was completely overhauled right down to a new point-of-sales system (it used to be a stand-alone cash register). Some things of old remain. Mainstays of the store that could not be replaced like the original bookshelves built by founding owner Dean Stayner, longtime store manager Brook Redwine, and Louie, beloved shop dog.
New to the store are amenities like a rotating art exhibit featuring Mindy Duquette as the inaugural artist, a community bulletin board, and a cozy fireplace. Also, thanks to Temple’s husband, vinyl lovers will enjoy a limited but growing record collection.
Book Trader will still be a used bookstore—Temple is aiming for a 50-50 mix of old and new, with some exciting new titles in keeping with current trends. The new owner also hopes to capitalize on an intellectual return to books and bookstores by adding unique collections of hand-selected books designed for the literary at heart with the likes of Europa editions, university press titles, and hard-to-find books.
The store has also expanded its children’s section and showcases more photography, art, and architecture books. It will continue to carry Western Americana, rare, and used books. Book Trader will also continue to purchase used books from patrons for its inventory.
The grand reopening took place December 15.
In addition to Langston, Temple also wanted to thank Cristine Wehner (creative curiosity), Christy Smirl Foxtail (book organizer), Marshall (Duffel Donkey Movers), Janet Munro (Simplify), and Adam Connor (new custom shelves).
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