By Josette Keelor
The Book Nook at Buggy B's LLC, in Strasburg, is more than just a place to display and sell books.
In the King Street shop that sells flowers, wine, furniture and gifts, a corner in the front is decorated with a sofa, two arm chairs and a couple of tables.
Shelves of books line the walls, sectioning off the area from the rest of the store.
In the window, a tower of tomes, built by store manager Barbara Plitt, beckons interested window shoppers inside.
"It's very cozy, it's very intimate," said Connie Stadler, special event manager for the store's new Book Nook, "so it's perfect for something like a reading." -- Which is exactly what she and Plitt have decided to do.
Friday, for the opening of the Book Nook, local author Rich Follett was lined up to talk about his writing and sign copies of his books.
"The grand opening," Stadler said earlier in the day, "it's about books and authors and it's about community feeling -- writing and reading and people."
"That's the best way we can think of [for] debuting what we're offering to the community," she said.
Buggy B's plans to host a book reading and/or signing once or twice a month on Fridays, Stadler said, but for its opening month, it will offer three Friday events, from 6 to 8 p.m.
"I think it is going to be fun," Stadler said, "and Rich [Follett] is a terrific reader. Really tremendous."
Author Glenna Loving will read on Nov. 16 and Ed Mayhew on Nov. 30; William Shifflett is scheduled for Dec. 7, and Dr. Bruce Coston for Dec. 13 (a Thursday), Stadler said.
So far, community interest has been encouraging.
"Strasburg has been without a book store for a very long time," Stadler said.
Byron Brill, who co-owns the story with Debbie Ritenour, "is very committed to service in the community," Stadler said. "So basically he saw there was a need."
Calling herself "a passionate lover of books," Stadler, a former professor at New York University and the University of Charleston, in West Virginia, said she learned of the authors presently on the event schedule through recommendations from other community members.
What any given Friday includes, Stadler said, "really will depend on what the author wants to do." For the time being, though, events will cater to authors whose books are published in print.
"I think the thrust here is primarily on the feel of books," Stadler said.
"I don't see us moving into ebooks in the immediate future."
The book readings will be free to attendees, Stadler said, and will include a coffee station and snacks, such as cookies, brownies and dips, Stadler said.
The Book Nook also will be open to groups who would like to hold writing workshops, book club meetings or related events, Stadler said.
"We would really love to make this a small community center."
The ultimate goal, Stadler said, is "also to get people's feedback on what they would like here. This is where we're starting, but who knows where we're going to end up?"
For more information about the Book Nook at Buggy B's, call 465-2707 or visit www.buggybs.com.
Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or firstname.lastname@example.org