KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Raven Book Store, an independent bookstore in Lawrence, has been named The weekly publishers Bookstore of the year 2022.
Bookstores across the country were considered, but this year’s honor is in the heartland of the Midwest.
The Raven, as regulars call it, began as a mystery bookstore in 1987. Signs on the facade now indicate selections including fiction, poetry, mystery, politics, history and children.
Mary Wahlmeier Bracciano, manager of children’s books at the Raven Book Store, says she has worked at the store for four years. During her time as an employee, she saw the community supporting the principle of small business.
Following a cooperative business model, the majority owner of the store controls 51% while seven booksellers account for the remaining 49%, each responsible for 7%.
Bracciano says this rare model helps create the opportunity for others with an affinity for the store to hold a stake that isn’t financially burdensome.
Even with neighboring bookstore chains and the looming threat from Amazon, Bracciano says part of Raven Book Store‘s charm and notoriety comes from opening up the store to be politically active, advocating that employees be treated well. to further legitimize the sustainability of work in the book industry.
Still feeling ‘blown away’, the Raven is honored with such an award, Bracciano thanks those whose loyalty has never wavered.
“We’re so popular in this community because of the customers who started coming in at the very beginning,” Bracciano said.
Raven’s Bookstore is located at 809 Massachusetts. The store is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.