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Better with two
Mother-daughter bookstore thrives
read it again 3 jd
Mother-daughter duo Della, left, and Kim McNamara look through books received in a trade at Read It Again, their south Forsyth bookstore. - photo by Jim Dean

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Read it Again is at 3630 Peachtree Parkway in Johns Creek. Contact: (770) 232-9331 or www.readitagainontheweb.com

After twice retiring, Della McNamara thought she was finished with the stress of owning a retail business.

But after much encouragement from her family, all avid readers, McNamara came out of retirement nearly seven years ago to open Read it Again in Johns Creek.

The charming and cozy shop sells primarily used books, but also carries many new titles, as well as trinkets, bookmarks and assorted gift items.
McNamara’s partner is more than a business colleague, she’s also her daughter.

“Kim was in her last semester of college and I really wanted to do something with her,” McNamara said. “So I asked her if she wanted to go into the business with me.

“Kim was raised while I was running our businesses — ever since she was 2 years old I was in retail — so the atmosphere was familiar to her.”

The soon-to-be graduate jumped at the opportunity and worked full time while finishing college.

The younger McNamara has enjoyed the experience, even though she jokes that they “bicker just like any mother and daughter would.”

Seven years later, though, it’s a relationship and a business that clearly work.

“We have been blessed since we opened,” Della McNamara said. “We knew in the first six months that we were going to make it.”

The used book trade-in and credit policy are simple: customers receive credits for bringing in used books. In turn, they can buy used books at the shop for half of the marked price, using their credits to pay for the other half.

Read it Again’s computer software is also a family affair, designed by Kim’s husband and his brother, Mike and Eric McKnight with Addico Solutions.

The software tracks more than credits and purchases. It also enables staff to search inventory and reserve books for customers.

Books brought in that cannot be accepted — encyclopedias, coloring books and hardbacks with no dust jacket, among others — are donated to local libraries through the Friends of the Library program.

The McNamaras are big supporters of education in the community.

“We offer 20 percent off of new books that people buy [for] school,” Della McNamara said. “And in addition, we donate credit to schools so they can buy used books here at a discount.”

Read it Again has thrived despite the presence of a big neighbor.

“When Borders first opened [next door], we wondered how that would affect our business,” Della McNamara said. “But we have a wonderful relationship with them. We send them customers and they send them to us all of the time.”

Perhaps it’s that cozy feel. Customers have asked about the possibility of the store moving to a larger location, she said, but “we really like the coziness.”