Being a locally owned and operated bookstore in the world of Kindle and Amazon is a constant uphill battle. Everyone wants to sell their products; it’s business after all! However, Main Street Books believes there’s a difference between being a regular ole’ book retailer and being a genuine community bookstore.
What’s the difference? A local community bookstore provides a space where readers can engage new ideas and narratives from authors of all backgrounds and experiences. Oftentimes this takes shape in the form of discovering a new book, but for Main Street Books in downtown Mansfield this engagement goes a step further through their dedication to monthly author events, which provide an opportunity for reader and author to meet and dialogue together in ways an average retailer simply cannot provide.
Main Street Books makes it a priority to host several author events each month, including book signings, author readings and talks. These events feature authors across Ohio and beyond, and oftentimes, from right here in Mansfield.
Here’s what is coming up this summer season:
Friday, June 21 marks the next author event at Main Street Books with local author Edward Patrick Akinyemi, author of Community Heroes. Akinyemi will be speaking and signing books starting at 6 p.m.
Akinyemi is the Research and Development Coordinator at the North End Community Improvement Collaborative (NECIC) right down the street from Main Street Books. He began at NECIC in 2017 as an AmeriCorps VISTA member, later joining the NECIC team fulltime. His book, Community Heroes, is about his time as a VISTA member. In it he discusses why it’s important to focus on helping your community more than trying to save the whole world.
Brooklyn-based author, Shannon Dunlap, will visit Main Street Books in July. Though now living in Brooklyn, Dunlap actually grew up right here in Mansfield. Fun fact, she graduated high school with Main Street Books’ store manager, Llalan Fowler, who is proud to call Dunlap her best friend. The two were “word nerds” together in Power of the Pen, helping the team even win a state championship!
Dunlap will be reading from her first novel, Izzy + Tristan. The young adult book is a retelling of the old Tristan and Isolde tale, only this time set in modern-day Brooklyn. A story of love and chess battles, Izzy + Tristan will appeal to readers of all ages. Dunlap will visit Main Street Books Friday, July 12 at 6 p.m.
The very next week, Main Street Books will be host to The Ohio State University graduate, Jon Chopan, for his new book Veterans Crisis Hotline. Chopan first visited the bookstore nearly eight years ago for his first book, Pulled From the River. Turns out he keeps getting pulled back to Ohio, and we are thrilled about it!
Veterans Crisis Hotline is a collection of short stories, each a meditation on the relationship between war and righteousness. He will be at Main Street Books reading excerpts from his new book Friday, July 19 at 6 p.m.
The bookstore will celebrate First Friday in August welcoming one of Central Ohio’s most beloved writers: Columbus Dispatch columnist Joe Blundo. Blundo’s columns are infamously clever, poignant, well-written commentaries on life in Ohio. His latest book, Does that Make Sense?, is a collection of his columns. Blundo will visit Main Street Books Friday, August 2 at 6 p.m.
The summer author season will cap off celebrating one of Mansfield’s favorite claims to fame -The Shawshank Redemption – when author, Mark Dawidziak, visits Friday, September 6 at 6 p.m.
Dawidziak’s new book The Shawshank Redemption Revealed: How One Story Keeps Hope Alive will be released earlier that week on September 1. It is a history and celebration of the classic movie, featuring behind-the-scenes photographs and new interviews with the cast and crew.
Follow Main Street Books on Facebook for more information on upcoming author readings and other fun activities for kids, crafters, poets, art-lovers and more!