Sister Store Sundays: Changing Hands Books!

Welcome to the fourth installment of our new blog series “Sister Store Sundays”.
Every Sunday we will feature a quick Q&A with another Independent Bookstore. We want to introduce you to some of the fabulous people who are nurturing the cultural conversation around the country. This week we are excited to feature Changing Hands Bookstore of Tempe, AZ! Co-owner, Bob Sommer was kind enough to answer our questions.

OBOFS: Why did you get into this bookstore?

CHB: Loved bookstores, son of merchant class parents

OBOFS: How many people do you employ?

CHB: 35

OBOFS: How has social medial helped the business?

CHB: We have many tens of thousands followers on FB and Twitter plus 13,000 good old-fashioned email subscribers to our newsletters and event blasts.

OBOFS: What is different today from when you started out?

CHB: Social media, ebooks, amazon

OBOFS: What do you wish you had known then?

CHB: Better accounting practices

OBOFS: What should the public know about independent bookstores that they probably don’t?

CHB: How small a margin they work on compared to other businesses.

OBOFS:What plans does the store have for the next year that people should keep an eye out for?

CHB:Opening a second location which will include a beer and wine bar.

OBOFS: How do you handle the “Amazon Showroom” Phenomenon?”

CHB: My father used to ask, "Do you know what they do in China when it rains?" He would pause and then give the answer -- "They let it rain."

OBOFS: What do you offer your community that they and B&N don’t?

CHB: Over 300 events each year. A "gives back" program that supports hundreds of local, national and international charitable, service and educational organizations.

OBOFS: What are you reading right now that is captivating?

CHB: Favorite book of the year is Peter Heller's Dog Stars, which just came out in paperback.

OBOFS: Tell us a little about the co-operative structure of the store and what it allows you to do, please.

CHB: It was a cooperative in the '70s and '80s, but that was not a viable structure as it grew larger. It's currently a c-corp.

  1. A Wilmington Institution since 1982
  2. Buying Old Books: The ultimate Recycling
  3. Best African American Literature Selection in Town
  4. Extensive Foreign Language Section: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese
  5. The ONLY bookstore in town to deliver!
  6. Paperback Classics at affordable prices (Great for English classes!)
  7. Incredible Judaica Section
  8. Largest selection of scripts and Theatre/Film books in Town
  9. Where else are you going to find a first edition for under $10?
  10. Bibliophiles rock!