With summer right around the corner, several entrepreneurs are hoping to give area residents new options for finding the perfect beach read.
If history is your thing, Mike Roer, owner of Academy Books & Records, has a multitude of choices at his shop in downtown Bridgeport, which opened over the weekend.
Roer’s business, located on Fairfield Avenue, contains book shelves full of literature that dates back several centuries. “We’re not trying to compete with Barnes & Noble,” he said.
Because of their rarity, some of the findings at Academy are pricey – one of 16th century scholar Justus Lipsius’ texts will set a buyer back $500. But there are also plenty of inexpensive and more recent finds, like Len Deighton’s 1967 novel “An Expensive Place to Die,” which costs $15.
What if you’re looking for more contemporary fare? Stratford resident Nikkya Hargrove is hoping her shop, Serendipity, will appeal to those interested in more modern books if she can raise enough money to open it later this year.
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As he browsed the shelves and tables full of books, vinyl records and Bridgeport, railroad and baseball memorabilia at Academy Books & Records on Friday evening, Frank Kuchinski, of Stratford, noted the novelty of the place.
“I think in a digital age this is so interesting,” he said. “The physical experience is so different than the digital experience.”
It was not the books, however, but the vinyl records that led Bridgeport teacher Clayton Eles to stop in Friday on his way home to New Haven.
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“Bookstores continue to have a tough time existing,” he said. “If you’re as big as Barnes & Noble and you have to close stores, then you can imagine how hard it is for small or mid-size bookstores to compete. The good news is Barnes & Noble is closing stores but it hasn’t gone out of business.”
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