The Alabama Booksmith
2626 19th Place, South
Birmingham, AL 35209
This is the store that a lot of other store-owners asked if Id visited yet. This is the owner a lot of folks asked if I’d met yet. Jake Reiss is the fellow behind The Alabama Booksmith and his reputation is deserved. Jake might be one of the smartest booksellers in the business.
“Most stores are events driven, ours is events entirely,” says Reiss. And he’s not overstating that fact. Albama Booksmith isn’t in an easy to reach location. There aren’t pedestrians in the area at all. The people who visit his store are doing so because Reiss has made it a destination shop and it’s most likely one of the best destination shops in America.
With several thousand people in his customer database, Reiss has hosted the likes of Roth and the late Updike in his store. See, he has the largest “signed first edition club” in America and he sells to people around the globe.
Between the signed edition club, the regional writer’s series, and the other events, Reiss’ is a store that stays busy and profitable. He also sells Bananagrams.
Not bad for a fellow who opened a bookstore thinking it was a great way to make money.