Bob’s Bookstore to change locations

Analicia Haynes, Online Editor

Fed up with landlord issues and paying the utilities for the store next door, Joe and Lisa Judd, the owners of Bob’s Bookstore, will be packing up all 18,000 books and moving locations.

The store, currently located in Charleston’s Downtown Square, will move to 303 Lincoln Ave., which has a 5,000 square-foot basement, compared to the 1,600 square feet of the current shop.

Judd said he will be completely moved in by the first week of May, since he has to be out of the current location by May 1.

Judd, who graduated from Eastern, said he could never leave Charleston for a place like Terre Haute, IN, where the crowd is bigger, so a new home on Lincoln Avenue is the best option.

“Last time we moved the bookstore, there were 80,000 books,” Judd said. “It’s the only thing I really know how to do.”

Judd said there were more incentives to leaving besides a challenging landlord.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of people who do not know Charleston even has a Square, he said.

“Charleston has never been a college town,” Judd said. “People on the other side of Lincoln don’t come here.”

Judd said the Square has too many empty storefronts, and the ones that are open find it difficult to stay open and attract customers because there is never a place to park.

Senior Kate Arnold and freshman Sam Reiss, both political science majors who stopped into the store, said the move is a great idea because more students will know about Bob’s Bookstore.

Reiss, during his first time visiting, said he would have known about the store sooner if it were closer to campus.

“It’s like two different towns,” Reiss said about the relationship between the Charleston community and the Eastern community. “If more businesses in the Square were geared toward students, then (the town) would be so much closer to Eastern. There would be that link.”

Arnold and Reiss agreed with Judd that it is difficult for students to know about the Square because of the distance and a lack of transportation.

Arnold said if more students were visiting the Square it would be more economical for not just the businesses, but for the city of Charleston itself.

Even with the Panther Shuttle, they said, students are just not aware of the opportunities the Square has to offer.

“There’s no advertisement,” Arnold said. “A cat would be a good marketing tool.”

Judd said his vision for the new location mirrors a typical bookshop in Paris and does include a cat.

The bookstore would still incorporate a green-colored storefront just like the current shop, but would also involve a vibrant change of scenery complete with tables and chairs where students can sit, drink coffee and just read.

“Have you ever wondered why bookshops are always painted green?” Judd asked. “Because in France they have the Shakespearean Company, (where all the major writers went) and it’s painted green. People think that’s what it should look like.”

Judd said his hope from a business perspective is to have more people walk in and out of the shop.

Because he is opening up his new store next to a frozen yogurt shop, he said he plans on working with that owner to offer food and drink options for students while they sit and enjoy a book.

Judd said the new shop will be a place to show off different activities he already has in place such as a music night, book clubs, open mic night and a Dungeon and Dragons night.

“I finally found the dungeon master,” Judd said. “It took me a long time to find a good one but I found him.”

Judd said he wants the shop to be a place where students can come to hang out and just “chill.”

He said he will not close down the current shop rather, he will continue to stay open while he and his family move the books.

First, they have to build eight bookcases to start moving the books section by section. Judd and his family will bring the other bookcases with as soon as the ones from before start filling up.

“It’s like a giant puzzle (or) a huge math problem. But I can do it,” Judd said.


Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]