Episode 38: Owning a Bookstore with Rebecca George

In Episode 38, we chat with Rebecca George about the nuts and bolts of owning and running an independent bookstore, particularly during 2020.

Rebecca George is the co-owner of Volumes Bookcafe and Volumes Bookstore in Chicago, IL. A former educator and writer, she now spends her time slinging books, reading books, talking about books, sleeping with books, and everything else with books. 

You can find Volumes Books at volumesbooks.com and @volumesbooks on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

This episode was recorded on December 7. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod.

Texts, People, and Booksellers Mentioned in the Episode

“As teachers…you’re selling the value of books and of words and getting people to write so that they take value in what words they’re creating as well.” -Rebecca George @volumesbooks

“I’ve been just really working on local people that I love, if they’ve got a book coming out, something I feel like I think I can champion.” -Rebecca George @volumesbooks

“We’ve gone from having three hold shelves to 11.” -Rebecca George @volumesbooks

“You can tell people are reading more…They’re exhausted with computer screens…I think everyone wants to get out of where they are right now, and books are the one thing that can transport them there, effectively.” -Rebecca George @volumesbooks

“I think the cool thing about indie bookstores is they’re a direct reflection of the community they’re in.” -Rebecca George @volumesbooks

“80% of your sales are in 20% of your books.” -Rebecca George @volumesbooks

“The L lines were designed around dead people.” -Rebecca George @volumesbooks

“If nothing else and we lose our business…I’m proud of that, of those relationships that we’ve created with people, that we’ve helped people.” -Rebecca George @volumesbooks

“It seems like people…this year are really trusting in small business…What do they want their neighborhood to look like? What’s important to them to stay in their community after all this?” -Rebecca George @volumesbooks

“I think that the one thing that people coming out of MFAs [need to realize] is that not everyone becomes a writer, and I think that the best thing you can do is find ways to champion other people’s writing.” -Rebecca George @volumesbooks

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