When Katie Anderson heard that Humpus Bumpus bookstore owner Paul Cossman was closing up shop after nearly 30 years, she vowed that the business wouldn’t be shelved so easily.
Now just months after the closing of Humpus Bumpus, Anderson is opening her own place, Another Chapter Bookstore, Saturday in the Old Towne Shopping Center in Cumming.
Even though it’s in a different location, she said that it will have all of the same types of books and customer accounts that Humpus Bumpus had, and will continue the neighborhood-bookstore-with-character tradition the old location was known for.
“It was killing me that the store was closing down. With it being part of the community for so long and it having something that makes people want to go [there],” Anderson said.
She said that small locally-owned bookstores are vital to the community because they provide a personal touch that big chains and online retailers just can’t compete with.
‘“When it comes to other large chains, I think it comes down to the fact that we know our customers, we knew half of them on a name basis. We came to a point that when a customer came in, we could say ‘hey, whatcha been reading lately?’… I guess it made them feel comfortable,”’ she said.
“I think Katie wasn’t ready for us to have no bookstore at all,” said local Forsyth County Author Melody Scott.
Scott is the author of three mystery novels that are set in and around Forsyth County. She said that in her years patronizing Humpus Bumpus, she saw it and other small bookstores as a meeting place for people who love literature and want to share it.
She said that the role of locally-owned bookstores is vital to the community.
“It brings people together that have a common like for books — that develops into book clubs, and that develops into social clubs,” she said.
Added Scott: “I just think that a bookstore can be a community center.”
Anderson said that they will continue the tradition of helping out teachers and students with affordable books and that they will use a book trade-in system, so kids can trade in old books for different ones. According to Anderson, it’s an approach that gets back to the “old rules” of customer service by “doing everything they can to help someone out.”
Another Chapter Bookstore will have its grand opening from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday Feb. 3, featuring book signings from authors Fran Stewart and Melody Scott.
Anderson said that any old Humpus Bumpus customers who had credit at the now-defunct business can rest assured that that credit will be honored at Another Chapter Bookstore.