Federal Street Books turns page, gets new proprietors

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Federal Street Books has begun another section under the responsibility for Hoffman and Neil Serven.

The couple purchased the business from Tom Swetland and Patti Williams on Aug. 30 and went through a month and a half putting their very own touch on the space before opening Oct. 12.

“It’s been a great swath of people, from people who just want a $1 book to people who haven’t been in here before and are like, ‘Wow, we didn’t know this was here,'” Hoffman said in the store this week. “We had some people in from Colorado that were going through town and a bunch of other folks from Connecticut who have come in.”

She and Serven bought the business at 8 Federal St. for $35,000 and have rearranged the store’s stock with an end goal to offer improved access to areas. Hoffman said they have around 18,500 books accessible for perusing, with another approximately 12,000 in the storm cellar, which is as of now shut to clients.

Neither Hoffman nor Serven have recently possessed a book shop, however Hoffman worked in publishing for almost 20 years, and her better half is a word specialist for Merriam-Webster in Springfield and furthermore functions as a supervisor and “a writer, with a number of friends in the writing community.” Hoffman has likewise served two terms on the Greenfield Town Council and is an individual from the Downtown Cultural District Commission.

“We saw the business up for sale and thought, ‘Let’s give it a go,'” Hoffman reviewed. She is from rustic Pennsylvania and Serven experienced childhood in Lynn. They got hitched in 2012 and live close Greenfield Middle School.

The acquisition of a physical book shop in 2019, with the appearance of Amazon and other online retailers, may confound a few, yet these kinds of free shops are seeing a resurgence. The Christian Science Monitor reports Dan Cullen, senior technique official of the American Booksellers Association, as saying the quantity of free book shops in the United States has developed by in excess of 50 percent (from 1,651 to more than 2,500) in the previous decade. What’s more, deals in these stores developed about 5 percent a year ago.

These figures are credited to feeling and a desire to shop locally.

“Have a good day,” one guest says to Serven in the wake of perusing the shop. “Thanks for being here.”

Serven said recommendations made to clients online depend on a calculation, though wandering through a book shop could lead you to something you didn’t have any acquaintance with you needed to find out about. Hoffman said book retail is progressively experiential these days.

“I think if folks come in here and browse — they’re already shopping downtown or they’re running errands — they want to come in and have a look around and walk away with something that’s not that expensive,” she said. “That’s probably what we’re providing, as opposed to ‘I can get you any book you want on the planet,’ because there’s a place where you can do that online.

“We’re sort of an offshoot of, almost, entertainment for folks and we’ve had a lot of people just come in and chat. Tom had that, too,” she added. “I think you have to be really targeted to your area and know your demographic.”

She likewise said a “brand-spanking-new bookstore” with books estimated $20 to $60 would not succeed.

The store’s stock incorporates books on science fiction, genuine wrongdoing, history, horror, religion, mystery and health, just as graphic novels.

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