A Jacksonville bookstore recently was featured on the American Booksellers Association Instagram account and given a review. Jessica Gale, owner of Our Town Books, says that the post on the popular social media platform has raised awareness beyond Jacksonville about the bookstore’s existence: “The American Booksellers Association has a near-daily feature on Instagram of an independent bookstore on their feed and write a little bit about it. It was kind of an honor because there is only a limited number of bookstores that they can post about, and I believe they have around 2,500+ members in the organization. It was exciting. They have a lot of followers. We received a lot of followers to our Instagram page, and now have more people knowing about us around the country that may come to Jacksonville and to the square.”
The American Booksellers Association is a non-profit trade organization that promotes independently owned bookstores like Our Town Books through education and political and economic advocacy. The ABA called Our Town Books “cozy, welcoming, and full of a variety of books” and a beautiful space with a striking storefront.
Gale says that the bookstore has also recently added a new feature inside the bookstore: “We finally had a chance to paint and freshen up the wall in our hallway. We have Allona Mitchell’s art up on the wall for all of July to come in during our open hours and take a look. Her art is also for sale. Next month we will have Trina Meek’s [work] up on the wall.”
Gale says a new artist is likely to be featured each month for display and sale. She hopes to have gallery openings for the artwork in the near future, but is waiting for the COVID-19 pandemic to resolve before having events again at the bookstore.
Gale says that online sales along with foot traffic returning to the store have helped business to remain promising. Gale says that she is looking forward to the Jacksonville Main Street Christkindlmarket coming up on December 4th. She says he looks forward to having a book sale outside during Christmas-time to help continue exposure and sales for the store.