The Book and Cover Debuts in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The Book and Cover bookstore debuted recently at 1310 Hanover St. in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Times Free Press reported that when the bright pink front door opened last Thursday on the city's newest indie, which is owned by Emily Lilley, Sarah Jackson and Blaes Green, the space "quickly filled with people browsing books on the overcast afternoon."
"We're just really excited to have someone in here and make it real because it has felt so much like this is something we're doing for our community and they're such a big part of it and they haven't been here yet," said Jackson. "It feels like [the community] is the missing piece."
In addition to shelves filled with books across a variety of genres, Book & Cover has a coffee bar and sells other goods like branded bags and T-shirts, enamel pins and cards. Lilley's dog Bertie can also be found wandering through the space.
The owners crowdsourced $100,000 through IndieGoGo earlier in the year. The Times Free Press wrote that since the fundraising campaign ended this summer, "the process has been a 'whirlwind' as the friends worked to navigate everything from the difficulties of the business model and permits as well as celebrating even the most minor signals of progress."
"It's also been cool to kind of watch ourselves navigate through those challenging pieces and find the small victories," Lilley said. "As we're dealing with something difficult, something positive would always happen that would encourage us, keep us excited about moving forward."
Green added: "It has been a mad dash--list-making and keeping and crossing off--to make sure that we have everything covered. [We want to make sure we have] what is going to make this space accessible and comfortable for all kinds of readers to come in and find something that they like and something that is for them."
At the end of the bookstore's opening day, the owners posted on Instagram: "Friends, we would buy you all bouquets of sharpened pencils if we could. Today was a dream come true and each one of you who wandered into our space; offered us your awestruck words; and (and!) read books in our nooks & corners--thank you! To those of you who supported us, championed us, fed us, helped us--we are eternally grateful."