On Feb. 25, indie retailer Bryan Prince Bookseller celebrated its 28th anniversary and the completion of renovations with a reveal event that drew readers, local business owners, and other supporters.
“The support from community members and other local [groups] has been fantastic,” says Kerry Cranston-Reimer, co-owner at the Hamilton-based store. “They’ve very excited about what we’re doing at the bookstore and we’ve received a number of inquiries about new collaborations.”
The indie retailer didn’t expect to complete the renovations, which included transforming a second sales room into a designated events space and community hub, until sometime in April, but the early finish coincided with the store’s anniversary on March 1. A series of upcoming events includes book launches for local authors, a partnership with gritLIT festival, poetry readings, and book club meetings. “We will have a few weeks to get a sense of the adaptability of the room and make it feel like home,” Cranston-Reimer says. In addition to its expanded programming, Bryan Prince will also offer three-hour time slots to non-profits to use free of charge in an effort to make the space inclusive, accessible, and barrier-free.
Though Cranston-Reimer does lament the loss of some shelf space, she believes the change will offer patrons a more well-rounded in-store experience, and more opportunities to interact with other community members. “People want to talk about books they’ve read and discuss ideas with other book lovers,” she says. “This change will enhance that experience and enable us to have a more dynamic and engaging selection of books that we can continue to hand-sell.”