Athens, GA

Driving from my home in Lawrenceville to Athens takes me just under an hour. The highway is classic gorgeous Georgia
 with fields and woods, 
side-of-the-road boiled peanuts,
and famous towns. 
Athens is the home of the University of Georgia,
and their world famous Georgia Bulldogs, 
 my son Colin,

 AND  Avid Bookshop!
Avid opened to much fanfare in 2011 after being an 
online-only store for quite a long time. Athens, which has only had antiquarian bookstores for more than a decade, 
has embraced them with open arms.
Below is owner Janet Geddis and employee and reader extraordinaire Tom Eisenbraun in their children's room.
Janet has built what to many is a "dream come true" version of what a bookshop should be. The setting is just far enough away from bustling downtown to provide a peaceful atmosphere in the Cobbham Historic District of Athens, which is very close to Normaltown  (made famous by R.E.M. and the B-52's). Customers from the close-by residential neighborhoods drop in to say hello, sometimes bringing food, sometimes bringing news and gossip, and of course buying books, creating an idyllic situation (we won't mention that Janet has hardly had an hour to herself since she opened). The university professors have even assigned students to visit the store for class credit!

Author Katherine Weber was instrumental in helping Janet open the store, and in an interview with Robert Gray of Shelf Awareness, she put it very well:

"Surely someone who wants to do this, someone willing to invest her life, as Janet has, in opening a new independent bookstore in these perilous times, someone so inspiring to me, is deserving of being inspired herself"

I love the store for so many reasons: because Janet and her crew have brought one of my favorite towns an independent bookstore again, and a terrific one, at that, and because I get to visit Colin whenever I have an appointment!

What town do you wish had a great independent bookstore?

Let's get our wish list going, maybe we will inspire a new venture!


Anonymous said…
Beautiful post! Avid is actually at the intersection of the Cobbham and Boulevard neighborhoods; Normaltown is quite a bit further West.
Jon Mayes said…
Thanks for the correction, I have updated the post.

Popular Posts