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Our Story

Since our opening on April 30, 2016, East City Bookshop has become a gathering place for book lovers of all ages. It’s a place to talk about books and ideas, to learn something new, or to revisit something you once knew well. By offering author events, book clubs, other community events, we want to connect you with the books and ideas you want and need...and some that maybe you didn’t even know you wanted and needed.

We also have a selection of toys, gifts, art supplies, and bookish items that we think would make a special treat for yourself or for someone you like a whole lot.

Our mission is to provide friendly and warm service, community-oriented events, and support for the literary arts at every reading level.

A Note On Accessibility 

The space currently occupied by our bookstore is unfortunately accessible only via stairs. Built before the American Disabilities Act became law in 1990, the store's entrance and our larger downstairs space, including our events space, are not accessible by either an elevator or ramp. 

If you need sign language interpretation for an event, please let us know at least two weeks in advance. While we cannot guarantee that we can provide an interpreter for every situation, we will do our best to provide accommodation.

We invite anyone experiencing accessibility issues with our space to get in touch with us at so we might discuss ways in which we can offer alternative accommodations or service. 

About Laurie Gillman, Owner

I’m one of those people who, when visiting a new city or neighborhood, finds the independent bookstore as soon as possible. If there is no bookstore to be discovered, I must admit that I think a little bit less of that place. Whether I’m at a stage of life where reading is a main pastime, or one in which I’ve barely picked up a book in months (ie, as a parent of young children), bookstores have always been comfortable and comforting places, familiar but full of unknown and exciting possibilities.  

When our neighborhood bookstore, Trover’s, closed in 2009, I mourned along with many other Trover customers. While we have two excellent used bookstores nearby, sometimes you need new books. I spent time at nearby Barnes & Nobles, and sometimes made the (often arduous) trek to upper Northwest, but of course it’s not the same as having a bookstore that you consider to be “yours,” right there in your own neighborhood.  

As my children grew up and I began to have time to think about what to do next in life, the idea of opening a neighborhood bookstore wedged itself in my mind and stuck there. I couldn’t let it go, so in 2015 I began learning everything I could about opening an independent bookstore. There was a tiny part of me that hoped my research would show me that this was a terrible idea and would never work. But as fate would have it, I learned that indie bookstores were in the midst of a comeback. It became clear to me that our neighborhood, of all places, was exactly the kind of neighborhood that could and would support an indie bookstore. This, coupled with the fact that there was no indie bookstore in the entire eastern and southern part of the city, spurred me on.

East City Bookshop, and my wonderful staff, have been embraced by our neighborhood and our customers from day one. What I already knew proves itself again and again: we are surrounded by smart, interesting people of all kinds, and a bookstore attracts those people. I realize now that the underlying factor that drew me to this venture is that a bookstore is a place of community, ideas, and discussion; a place where people can take a break from their everyday lives and dive into any one of thousands of realities in books; and spend a little time with others who appreciate the value of the written word and the ways that can connect us.