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Open Door Bookstore celebrates 40 years

Starting out as a small children's bookstore, the Open Door Bookstore has since grown six times its original size and has become a destination for more than its literary offerings.

The Open Door Bookstore is kicking off its year-long 40th anniversary celebration with a book signing and reception at the store on Friday, May 13, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., featuring 30 authors that have been featured in the store over the years. The store first opened in 1971 as a 500 square-foot shop for children's books, but since then has expanded to 3,000 square-feet offering all varieties of books and a gift gallery featuring items made by local artists. In 1992, Janet and John Hutchison purchased the business from Betty Flemming and have kept the spirit of the store alive.

I had worked there for over 9 years managing it so I knew a lot about the business and the woman that owned it decided to sell, so it seemed a logical step, said Janet Hutchison. "The librarian in me loves matching up the book with the reader especially the children."

The personal touch the store offers customers is why Hutchinson said the store has been able to have continued success. Staff will often make recommendations for people coming into the store unsure of what book to give someone as a gift, or maybe just something interesting for themselves to read.

"What has become important, is the fact from the book standpoint people can come to the store and ask questions of staff that read books and can look up and find the hard to locate books at times," said Hutchison. "I think people value that kind of service and the fact that we can order books for customers and get many, many things in a few days."

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