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Business Intel: Bookstore to open in Blacksburg

Business Intel: Bookstore to open in Blacksburg


A new bookstore is expected to open in Blacksburg this summer.

Laurie Kelly has wanted to open a bookstore for years. When a friend pointed her to a discussion in a popular Blacksburg Facebook group in which members said they’d like to see a bookstore come to town, Kelly decided it might finally be time to do so.

“That sort of gave me the push that I need to see that there really is a desire from the community,” she said.

The business will be called Blacksburg Books, which reflects Kelly’s goal of being community-oriented. Kelly said she felt strongly about opening the store in Blacksburg, where she lives and works.

Kelly, an attorney, said she has always loved books and studied literature in college. She is excited to bring to fellow readers the used bookstore that she has long felt the town needed.

The bookstore is going into the former Alligator Alley space on South Main Street. Kelly said she wanted to be as close to downtown as possible for foot traffic and high visibility.

Blacksburg Books will offer both new and used books. Kelly said she expects to offer some kind of trade-in program. Since putting the word out that she was collecting inventory for the store, Kelly said people have come out of the woodwork to contribute used books.

Though the store is small, at about 1,200 square feet, Kelly said she wants to have some seating and partner with other local businesses to offer prepackaged snacks and beverages. The space does not have a kitchen, so nothing would be prepared on site.

Kelly said she also hopes to have authors at the store for readings and signings. Fitting rooms in the back of the store will be removed to create a children’s nook.

Blacksburg Books is expected to open its doors at 401 S. Main St. in July. Kelly said she definitely wants to open prior to Steppin’ Out, which is scheduled for Aug. 6-7.

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Casey Fabris covers business for The Roanoke Times, where she has been a reporter since 2015. Previously, Casey covered Franklin County. She can be reached at (540) 981-3234 or

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