15,000 volumes are held within Tamzin Malone’s Main Street Books located in the heart of downtown Lafayette.
“I love to read,” said Malone. “We didn’t have a television when I was a child. I think I’m glad about that. I never missed it so, I’ve always loved reading. I thought it was important that there should be a bookstore downtown.
“I get to wear a lot of different hats,” she continued. “I get to be the event planner, the book buyer and the janitor. I get to do all the things.
Store does more than just sell books. A litany of other types of events take place at the location.
“We have author signings, we do story times, and we host the local Where’s Waldo event in July,” she said. “Candlewick Publishing publishes the books and they sponsor this event. The bookstore is the hub but we recruit 25 other businesses to participate. We give everybody a little stand up Waldo and puts it somewhere in their store. People get little passports to check off the stores they go to and can win prizes. It’s a great thing to do in July when there’s not a lot going on.”
Another big event at Main Street Books is Independent Bookstore Day. Malone said it’s one of the biggest days of the year for the store.
“Independent Bookstore Day is coming up April 27. That is a nationwide event and is so much fun,” she said. “It is like a party all day. We are going to be having local authors coming in for two hours each reading from their books and signing them too. We will also have a selfie station. People can take a selfie, post it to social media and tag us, it will get them 10 percent off. We stack discounts that day. We have a tote bag that if brought in gets they 10 percent off, the selfie is another 10 and we will have a scavenger hunt in the store which will get you another 10 percent off. You can go up to 40 percent off on that day. That and small businesses Saturday are our two biggest days of the year.”
Malone enjoys getting to know the people who come into the shop.
“I love getting to talk to people about books. That is my favorite thing,” she said. I also love being part of the community. I have people who come in just to chat. I like building relationships as well as being part of people’s lives and the fabric of downtown Lafayette.”
Malone is a big advocate of the dollar book section. She said they make a great travel buy.
“What we want here is for you to read. We have a large selection of $1 books. They are great for traveling. If you’re going on a trip just stop by and pick up a handful of $1 paperbacks. Even if you forget the book on the plane it’s not a big loss since it is just $1,” she said. “Feeding your fiction addiction is our motto here. We have mostly fiction here. We have a little bit of nonfiction which is mainly biography and history. Basically, anything that reads like a story is here.”
Malone said Main Street Books was created in the image of the bookstore she would want to visit.
“There’s this assumption that bookstores are dying but indie bookstores have had a resurgence,” she said. “Here at Main Street Books most of our inventory is used so in general they are half the cover price. We do have some new books but I would say about 80 percent of our inventory is used. I wanted to create the bookstore I wanted to go to.”