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'90s Bloomington Bookstore Morgenstern Books Opens Monday

morgenstern

(Joey Mendolia, WFIU/WTIU News)

A Bloomington bookshop from the ‘90s returned Monday when Morgenstern Books re-opened on the east side at the old Pier 1 location. 

The store had a crowded first day, with its parking lot full of customers wanting to support the local business. 

morgensternlot
Morgenstern Books opened July 26 after delays caused by COVID-19. (WFIU/WTIU News)

Founder and part- owner Rick Morgenstern thought Monday would only be a soft opening.

“You know what’s exciting for me is walking the sales floor, shaking people’s hands, and hearing that they’re excited we’re back. We’ve been open two-and-a-half days, I’d say without exaggeration that I’ve heard that 100 times,” Morgenstern said.

He said the support this week affirms that the bookshop did something right the first time around 30 years ago, that left an impression on the community.

The store has some of its previous features, such as a community space that can be reserved, author talks, and live entertainment.

“I’m most excited about- two things immediately popped into my head: filling our books shelves with as many titles as we can get on the shelves and afford it– and connecting with the community through our events,” he said.

His list includes book signings, poetry readings, and Saturday morning children story hour.

Talk of Morgenstern Books reopening began in 2019, when Barnes And Nobles shut its doors. But opening day plans were delayed because of the pandemic.

Morgenstern added the bookshop needs consistent support to succeed and remain open, especially when competing with a digital market. 

“It’s a tough road for a physical store to make it, so if people want to keep us here, that’ve got to come spend their money here. That’s all there is to it.”

Some new features added for the store include a café and selling local artisan goods.

Sam Eads is a co-owner of the store with her husband. She says she’s excited for the spirit of community Morgenstern Books bring to Bloomington.

“When you go into bookstore it’s more than just getting a book. You go in to learn something, to connect with people,” Eads said.

She said though there are other bookstores in town, Morgenstern offers something unique in creating a community space for people. 

Morgenstern agreed, emphasizing that community has always been part of the store’s goals.

“We are so blessed to early on here create the same spirit we had in the legacy story of the ‘90s,” Morgenstern said.

He said the difference this time around is being more intentional with design and the aesthetic of the space.

 

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