Amy Squires opened the doors to Plumfield Books on Sept. 10, 2022. What was once a liquor store is now a thriving, independent bookstore in the heart of Ada that draws readers of all ages to its bright, open spaces and loads of glorious books. Squires answers a few questions about the store and her plans for Plumfield Books.
GR Mag: What made you decide to open a bookstore in the first place?
AS: I’ve always loved reading, plus I’d worked at home for so long as a landscape designer. I like talking to people! Also, my three kids are in a Spanish immersion program and I saw a huge need for Spanish-language books for all reading levels. I wanted to encourage all kids to read.
GR Mag: What kinds of books and other products do you sell?
AS: We have about 7,000 titles for adults and children at any one time in our 2,200 square feet. We feature a lot of fiction titles, bestsellers and new releases, a good amount of nonfiction, manga titles, YA fiction, Spanish-language books for young readers, and lots of children’s books. We also sell wine, art supplies, puzzles, socks, stuffed animals and art from local artists on consignment.
GR Mag: What is the hardest thing about owning a bookstore?
AS: I want to make sure I have a diverse enough selection and enough titles, especially if it’s a genre I don’t read a lot, so I try to pay attention to what people are ordering or asking about. It’s common knowledge that bookstores aren’t moneymakers—most booksellers do it for the love of books and reading, not to get rich. But I sell enough to pay my five part-time employees, do some extra, fun things for the store, and help support our community by donating gift cards or books.
GR Mag: What are your dreams for Plumfield Books?
AS: I want to grow our programming and our community involvement, build collaborations with schools through things like book fairs, and hold more events featuring both local and visiting authors. I also dream about poetry readings, puzzle competitions, and have a lot of requests about selling used books.
GR Mag: Tell us about some of the things you’re doing now at Plumfield Books.
AS: We have our Book & Bottle Book Club, in which we pair a book and wine; the Book Stack Book Chat in which we discuss a number of books at a time, plus we have author events. Chelsea O’Leary discusses her new cookbook The Wiley Canning Company Cookbook on July 1 and Susie Finkbeiner will talk about her new novel The All-American on July 18.
GR Mag: What is the best thing about owning a bookstore?
AS: I love talking to people about authors and books, and talking about their favorite books. And I love seeing kids come in who are excited about books. It’s great to see the next generation excited about books.