On June 1, Sara Rinne will open the doors to Maggie’s Books, located at 345 E. Main Street, next door to The Vine. Rinne is highly qualified to be a bookstore proprietor having been the Adult Reference Librarian at the Montrose Library for the past 10 years. Raised in Montrose, Rinne has fond memories of the two bookstores on Main Street which closed down in the sweep of online bookstores and the economic downturn.
“It’s been something that I’ve wanted to do for a very long time,” Rinne exclaimed. “This is my hometown.”
When she moved back here in 2008 to work for the library, Montrose had been hit really hard by the recession. “I was thinking, as a relatively young person, what kind of community I wanted to live in. I wanted a vibrant and fun Main Street. I even wrote a business plan. I’ve had this business plan for several years now, but it wasn’t until now that I was actually able to do it.
“The store is called Maggie’s Books, named after my naughty, honery dog. The name was just a placeholder in my business plan and it kind of stuck.”
She plans to have a general bookstore with lots of children’s books, local history and recreation books for tourists. Rinne spent almost 10 years purchasing at the library books for the community. “I feel I have a pretty good idea what people in Montrose like to read. And if I get it wrong,” she laughs, “I’m sure I’ll hear about.”
When she’s questioned about opening a bookstore—how is she going to compete against Amazon, she replies, “In my research I’ve found that independent bookstores are experiencing a resurgence. I provide something that Amazon can’t. If you walk into my store and say that your 10-year-old doesn’t like to read. I can recommend something. I have that specialized training.
“That’s kind of the difference between independent bookstores and Big Box bookstores like Barnes & Nobles which are steadily declining. Independent bookstores, in the research I found, are more than just bookstores. They’re community gathering centers.That’s a big part of my plan, it’s not just going to be about books.
“I want to host bookclubs and readings in my store. There will be some comfortable places to sit and read, have a coffee from the Vine and bring it over. I want it to be a comfortable place, a place where people come for information, where they come to be entertained. I plan lots of fun, engaging programs that people are interested in.
There is lots of family support for Sara in Montrose. She’s part of the local Anders family. Her father Mike had the popular Mike’s Market for many years, her Aunt Michelle was the cashier; her uncle Butch, the baker. Her husband Nick Rinne is the chef at the Vine next door and there are sisters and cousins too lengthy to enumerate.
Mark your calendar June 1, Hours 10-6, Mon. through Sat,