An Interview with Sally Bradshaw, Owner of Midtown Reader in Tallahassee, Florida
Store and location: Midtown Reader, Tallahassee, Florida
Number of years as a bookseller: Just under two years!
Best part about being a bookseller?: The remarkably interesting people that come into our store.
What book(s) are you reading?: I’m reading There There by Tommy Orange. It’s sad and beautiful. I’ve also binge-read Ruth Ware’s four mysteries this summer. And now I’m also reading an ARC of November Road by Lou Berney, and really enjoying it.
Favorite handsell of 2018: Oh gosh, I’m still selling Trevor Noah’s book. I can’t stop talking about it. But for 2018 I guess I’ve sold a lot of Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann. It’s just a stunning story that so few people know. And it reads like fiction.
Best thing you did this year at your store: We hosted James Patterson in February, and we expanded to an upstairs space and have partnered with a local cupcakery to provide cupcakes and coffee! Yum!
Social Media Stats (FB likes, Twitter followers, etc): 2964 FB likes/3015 follows; 841 followers on twitter/540 likes; 1295 followers on Instagram
What are some ways you work with your community? We recently partnered with the Holocaust Education Research Council to host their quarterly book club and to highlight books in our store that help teach the Holocaust; we donate books to the Children’s Home Society “Giving Library” over the holidays – we put up a book tree, match every book purchased then deliver to CHS; we’re involved in multiple education/literacy charities, volunteering for United Way’s Read United in schools; and our Authors in Schools program has brought several terrific middle grade and lower school authors to Tallahassee over the past year including Cassie Beasley and Katherine Applegate. We also partner with Word of South literary and music festival in Tallahassee each spring. And we’ve worked with the Tallahassee Senior Center and Westminster Oaks retirement community to bring authors to their members as well. And, finally, we host an author series with the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper.
Do you have any community partners you work with regularly? See above.
Do you have passions that carry over into your bookselling life? I have bookselling passions that carry over into my private life. I think my husband, children, and friends are a little tired of how often I recommend good reads to them! I do feel really strongly about connecting people and advocating for civil discourse. We’ve tried hard to create a space where people who are very different and may have different interests and beliefs can find common ground based on a love of reading and learning.
Top priority for 2018: Continuing to expand our customer base and visibility as a new bookstore.
Favorite SIBA programming benefit: SIBA fall Discovery show– it’s AMAZING. The programs and information are so informative– especially for new booksellers. The staff is terrific, and the interaction with other booksellers so helpful.