Archived Opinion

A great place to run a bookstore

Editor’s note: Margaret Osondu’s bookstore was bought out by a competitor, Blue Ridge Books and News. Osondu remained on staff for a few months after the merger, but the bookstore was sold again and Osondu’s position was eliminated. She now works for Grateful Steps Publishing House in Asheville, which will soon be opening a retail bookstore to compliment the publishing business. Osondu continues to live in Waynesville.

To the Editor:

I want to thank all the staff at The Smoky Mountain News for their support of Osondu Bookseller. I was wise to come to Waynesville to have a book business. I did not know it when I first got here, but I learned quickly.

From the first day people in Haywood County welcomed me. When all the books were falling off the shelves and I could not figure it out, John Gernandt came down and explained what I needed to do. People came and supported Osondu Booksellers by purchasing books and teaching us their interests so we could better provide for our readers.

In Waynesville, I had volunteers working in my store. Imagine a community where a bookstore is important enough for folks to volunteer to help support the shop. Without all of them, we would have been less than who we were. We were a community bookstore not just because of me but also because of the community’s commitment to literature, to authors, and to each other.

It was a fantastic experience and one that I will cherish always. I learned much about books and though I knew I loved books, I had no idea how deep that passion was until I actually was there day in and day out thinking, reading, talking and playing all about books. Bookworld, as I say, is my passion.

Thank you all.

Margaret Osondu

Waynesville

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