New bookshop inviting readers ‘Past Textual content’ | Los Gatan

This Saturday’s Grand Opening for Los Gatos’ new bookstore, a project of 38-year-old Los Gatos resident Tanya (Tatiana) Sedneva and her family, is set for May 4, from 11 am-2 pm, and will feature music and a scavenger hunt.

Its name—Beyond Text—emphasizes how spending time with a physical book can feel luxurious.

“There can be more to books than just the text—such as illustrations,” Sedneva said in an afternoon chat, at the location. “And there is the physical feeling, like, the luxury of being able to slow down and see, and feel, a physical book.”

The Los Gatos opening is part of a national trend, as independent book retailers have sprouted in small towns and big cities. Young people have been discovering a love of books through digital discussion groups discussions (with the help of influencers on #BookTok on the social media app TikTok), and according to the Associated Press, there are now 2,185 bookstores signed-up with the American Booksellers Association.

Beyond Text stocks bestsellers, coffee-table books, and esoteric, illustrated encyclopedias. Sedneva’s approach to curation is to promote the useful, as well as the eclectic. Her store, previously home to Tsume Nail Salon, aims to bring the joy of serendipitous browsing to the community.

The encyclopedias, for example, tackle historical attitudes towards the concept of magic, artistic depictions of devils across cultures and historical sexual mores.

“I read it myself,” Sedneva said of the book on the sex lives of people in the Victorian era. “It’s not juicy, but actually quite funny.”

interior decorinterior decor
INSPIRATION – Tanya Sedneva’s son helped her figure out the practical steps for opening a bookstore. (Sarah Lai Stirland / Los Gatan)

She has books on the mechanics of language, physics and biology textbooks for middle schoolers, required-reading classics for high-schoolers and graphic novels for adults.

Sedneva also has more “traditional” suggestions for those looking for a summer beach read. For example, she recommends New York Times best-selling author Emily Henry’s new one “Funny Story;” Walter Isaacson’s biography of Elon Musk; and Robert McCammon’s “Boy’s Life,” an award-winning mystery set in 1960s Alabama.

In addition to selling board games, Sedneva is looking forward to hosting book club meets, organizing painting parties to facilitating gatherings of people playing the popular game “Mafia.” She says it’s all part of her desire to help foster community based around the written word.

A 2020 Harvard Business School study found that the recent bookshop resurgence was being driven by local owners who “promoted the idea of consumers supporting their local communities by shopping at neighborhood businesses.” These businesses won customers back from Amazon and big box players “by stressing a strong connection to local community values,” it noted.

In the Los Gatos context, as Sedneva convenes readers through the careful curation of Beyond Text’s catalog, it represents the realization of her childhood dream.

“I used to work as a software project manager, but I’ve been impacted by the layoffs less than a year ago,” she said. “Since then, I was struggling with what I should do next.”

A discussion with her therapist about this turmoil spurred her current project.

“I was a shy kid whose only friends were books,” she recalled.

Sedneva spent a lot of time in the library with old books, wishing she could have access to new ones. She dreamed of opening her own bookstore, she said.

Her therapist asked her why she wasn’t pursuing that desire.

“I was mad, because I’m not a kid,” Sedneva said, laughing at the memory. “Because I don’t know if anybody would buy books these days.”

Doubts—such as the fact that she didn’t have any experience running a small business—raced through her mind.

But Sedneva’s 10-year-old son Konstantin’s reaction both challenged and inspired her. He declared to his mother one day that he knew how to open a bookstore.

“I was like. Hmmm, yeah, go on. What can you know about it? (Because he’s just a kid,)” Sedneva continued, again laughing at her underestimation of her son.

Konstantin punched a search query into Google and showed her a web site titled “How to open a bookstore.”

book in handbook in hand
VARIETY – Sedneva stocks all sorts of titles, from textbooks to unique encyclopedias. (Sarah Lai Stirland / Los Gatan)

“It was one of those moments when I realized, There is help,” Sedneva said. “There are people around who might help you—you just have to ask them. That was the moment when it became more realistic for me. I started to think, Okay, why not? Let’s just check. Let’s try to figure out budget. Let’s do this step by step.

Friends of Los Gatos Library, on East Main Street, a second-hand bookstore, has served as the town’s only bookstore since the closure of Village House of Books on Village Lane several years ago. Before that, Borders Books operated a store locally. That store closed in 2011.

British author Neil Gaiman once wrote:  “What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.”

Perhaps the opening of Beyond Text will bolster Los Gatos’ reputation as a town even more people will want to live in.

Beyond Text is located at 318 N. Santa Cruz Avenue, in Los Gatos. Hours of operations: Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm. The grand opening takes place May 4, from 11 am-2 pm. Find them on Instagram: @_beyondtext_

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button