For over twenty years Bookplace has been flourishing, but it requires a flexible, eclectic approach. Ten years ago we added an art gallery. By having eight art shows a year, we bring in patrons who might not otherwise find us and our books. I do book signings for local authors. And I appraise and help local historical societies with their collections and donations (I did this in 2012 for The Magazine Antiques in New York City). I represent local sellers with rare material which usually goes to Swann Auction Galleries in New York and I sell from a large table in my gallery ephemera, post cards, old photos, maps and paper collectibles (In 2008 I bought a large autograph collection, 40 years in the making, from a Lancaster, PA collector.)
Needless to say, we are busy but enjoy the unpredictability of events, the unusual people, both sellers and buyers, and we like to feel that we serve the community both as a place to buy books and art--and to dispose of them.
Our store is a "stand-alone" about one mile outside the village of Oxford, PA--good parking and cheap rent compared to town. The gallery features local artists, most of whom also sell elsewhere (Wilmington, DE; New York City, Lancaster, PA). Because Bookplace is located where Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware meet, our artists tend to come from these three states--as do our customers. Gallery principles: original art (no prints), no photographs, and art with rare exceptions priced between $75.00 to $350.00 (because we charge the artist only 10% to cover costs, we ask them to lower their usual prices and most of them comply). Our most successful show in our ten years of shows sold 37 paintings (of 46), each for $200.00. The same artist now sells annually on 73rd St and Madison Ave. in New York for about twenty-five time the price--and the paintings are still small ones on board.
Every surviving bookseller is--and should be, almost has to be--unique. It is our major selling point in a world of look-alike chain stores and big box stores with identical merchandise and floor-layout.
Gallery Exhibit April 29 - May 13
Beneath The Surface
works by N. J. DeVICO