Majerek to open new book storePublished 10:55am Wednesday, December 9, 2009
By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star
When Majerek’s Gift Shoppe burnt down in June 2008, owner Tom Majerek realized something — the store was not all about him or his family.
“It’s always been a part of my life, because my dad owned it,” said Majerek, whose family had owned the store since 1960. “When that building burnt down, it really woke me up and I thought ‘wow, this is part of everybody raised in Niles the past 50 years.’ The store’s much bigger than me. It’s not about me and my family. It dawned on me when it burnt down that it’s a community store.”
The store was rebuilt in November of that year at 213 E. Main St. Now Majerek is opening another store next door, Majerek’s Readers World on 217 E. Main, this weekend.
With the realization that the store is not all about him, he is taking a community-minded approach to building it.
“The key to the success of this is being open-minded and creating a store that people want, instead of giving people a store that I want,” Majerek said.
That’s not to say that Majerek doesn’t already have some ideas for the shop. Locally roasted coffee, Internet access, comfortable seating and live entertainment are among the plans for the store, in addition to a large selection of books and magazines.
Most of the books will be used, discount or remainder books, but some new releases and best sellers will be available.
Majerek envisions a place that will encourage conversation and community.
“I’ve always liked the idea of the bookstore concept,” he said, “where people can go exchange ideas, meet friends, have a cup of coffee, talk about books, talk about whatever is going on in the world, a place where people can gather and hang out.”
The store’s grand opening on Saturday will feature a book signing from 2 to 4 p.m. with local author Dr. Michel Listenberger, who wrote “Self-Utility: A Theory of Everything.” After that from 4 to 7 p.m., the store will welcome musician Dave Van Dyke, who will play a solo acoustic show of holiday music and some of his original work. At the gift shop next door, Ramblin’ Rick Schpok will play his unique homemade dobro from 4 to 7 p.m.
Majerek, who also organizes the Niles Bluegrass Festival and the Summer Concert Series, says the store will regularly feature live entertainment.
More than anything, Majerek hopes Readers World will be a place that book lovers can call their own.
“They’ll be able to have a shop that’s theirs,” Majerek said. “I just bet that in some of those larger stores in South Bend people don’t feel that that’s their store, whereas this will be Niles’ bookstore.”