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Beloved bookstore receives outpouring of support after announcing sale of business

Posted at 6:27 PM, Oct 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-19 19:55:41-04

As KATC  previously reported, the owner of Alexander Books in Lafayette is selling her store after about thirty years in business.

But, the community is trying to prevent that from happening.

The owner, Barbara Alexander, has received a huge outpouring of support and requests to keep the bookstore alive.

“Just putting it up for sale and seeing the reaction has been incredible,” said Barbara.

Thousands of people on social media reached out to Barbara, saying they would greatly miss the bookstore and asking for the business to somehow carry on.

“Ideally for me, I would just love for somebody to just walk in, I could hand them the key, and they could just take over,” said Alexander.

The building was bought in 1989 by booklovers Barbara and Gary Alexander.

Gary & Barbara Alexander. Gary was the thinker & Barbara was on more of the pragmatic business side.

But, after Gary passed away in December, Barbara says running the store hasn’t been the same without him.

“He loved being in here, and I did, too, but I was able to travel and do a lot of things when he was with me that I can’t do now that he’s gone. I’m just at a time in my life when I’m ready to move on because the business was he and I,” explained Barbara.

Alexander Books was also a place for generations of cats that lounged around and kept watch as people perused the book aisles for something to read.

There have been generations of cats watching the bookstore. Pictured here is Wallis, the current guard cat.

More recently, the bookstore has been hosting a popular live-reading series, known as “Stories Matter,” where local authors share their writing.

“A lot of people, younger people, older people, they really want the feel of the book. They want the atmosphere of the bookstore with the smell of the books,” said Barbara.

The aspect that sets used bookstores like Alexander Books apart from new bookstores is the fact that they offer larger selections of authors’ earlier and more obscure novels.

And, Barbara says she’ll help anyone who wants to buy out the store’s book inventory and carry it on in a new location.

“Whoever buys the business, I would be available to help them for a limited time to, kind of, grandfather them in, which is what happened to Gary and I,” said Barbara.