This historically important article published in the
7-08-2005, was previously available at:
but sadly it was deleted by the paper.
Candy Pearson hopes a few bookworms, young and old, will find their
way into her downtown Oshkosh apple next month.
Pearson will open Apple Blossom Books, 513 N. Main St., on Aug. 18. The store will offer new and used books, tomes from independent publishers, a membership program that includes free daily Internet access and special events designed to expose children and families to books in a way Amazon.com and other large book retailers cannot.
"Books are much more available to the American public than they have been in the past, which is a fabulous thing because it promotes literacy, but a bookstore can also promote culture and community because they connect people in more of a way than walking into a gift store can do," Pearson said. "It's hard to capture that kind of intense feeling of discovery online that you can get in a bookstore.
The Downtown Oshkosh Business Improvement District provided Pearson with a $5,000 recruitment grant to help open her store, BID President Norm Packer said.
"She's going to try and build some bridges with the library in terms of connecting with different audiences," Packer said. "She's got ideas for special interest events and so forth."
Pearson, a business administration teacher at Marian College in Fond du Lac, moved to Oshkosh with her husband, Sam Fong, and two children about a year ago. Prior to that, she lived in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area where she worked for Thomson West Publishing.
She began to develop the idea for a store where people could sell their used books as well as a site for family reading nights, wireless Internet access, small- and medium-size business events and an outlet for the sale of independently published titles by up-and-coming authors.
To compete with Amazon.com and other chain book stores, Pearson said she plans to have a Web site from which patrons can order books as well as a membership program that, among other things, will offer 30 minutes of free Internet access each day and a pre-order watch service for favorite authors and new releases.
"I can help people watch for the authors they love and set up the service so they get an e-mail notification when the book's ready," she said. "You can have the book delivered to the store or directly to your home."
Members also would benefit from a higher purchase price on books they want to sell to the store, she said.
"We will try to encourage repeat readership so people will come back to the store again and again," Pearson said. "It's a full-service bookstore. It will be much smaller in terms of square-footage, but it will be larger in terms of possibilities."
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