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Nova Scotia writers to open bookstore on Nova Scotia’s South Shore

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Poet Alice Burdick, co-founder of Lexicon Books

A trio of writers and illustrators are opening a bookstore on Nova Scotia’s South Shore this May.

Poet Alice Burdick, children’s illustrator Anne-Marie Sheppard, and author Jo Treggiari are helming Lexicon Books in Lunenburg, NS. The store will offer new fiction, poetry, YA, children’s literature, and some non-fiction, and will also cater to online shoppers.

“Jo had been mulling the idea for a while    it was something she’d been dreaming about doing for a long time,” Burdick says. “We all saw the need for an independent bookstore on the South Shore. Sagor’s Bookstore in Bridgewater had been filling this need for 40 years, but it closed in 2011. Jo approached me last spring, and we started to make our plans.”

The three met through their children, who attend school together, and bonded over their shared love for books, community, and of course, writing. They also have extensive retail experience    Treggiari managed an independent bookstore in New York for many years, and owned and operated a record company in California for a decade, while Burdick has worked selling books at a second-hand shop and during her stints with various small presses. Burdick says that the store’s inception comes at an opportune time not only for Lexicon’s founders, but also for the local community.

“We each have young families and have decided this is a great step for us. It’s a way to serve our community [while] doing what we want to do on a daily basis,” she says. “I think we’ll do well in Lunenburg. There is a real thirst for good-quality, well-chosen books here; it’s a sentiment that has made itself known fairly constantly. The three of us are very picky and want to ensure we have great books in stock, chosen carefully and displayed beautifully. We believe we’ll also be a desirable venue for local and travelling authors to visit.”

Burdick says the co-founders are approaching the endeavour with realistic expectations and a genuine commitment to creating a personalized shopping experience.

“Even though it’s a dream job in many ways, we know we are in it for the long haul, and that it will take a while to be profitable – but it will be, because we will keep a very tight control on stock,” she says. “We all agree that we can’t be an impersonal place. There’s a renaissance in the world of independent bookstores. The key seems to be in providing personal, informed service; a distinct, unique experience.”