INK Book Gathering. It’s a long and rather cumbersome name, but there is a reason behind it, because it was never designed to be just a bookstore. It was created to be a gathering place; a place for book lovers to gather, to come together and share their love of books; and to tell stories, to recommend books and find new ones.

A place for authors to share their words, to meet face to face with people who have plucked their work off the shelf and got lost in the story, and maybe even found a bit of themselves in their books.

A place for writers to come together, to gather in the energy of others who live our lives through words.

To infuse the discipline of creating and to diffuse the isolation we experience trapped in our stories.

A place for poets, singers and wordsmiths of all sorts to share their voices and be heard.

To see a deeper, richer side to the faces that smile at us in the post office.

I didn’t open a shop with burning retail dreams.

INK is a magic re-tale shop, where the stories that were shared were not simply bound between the covers of books, but were also written there, witnessed there and shared, bound between new friendships.

Perhaps the store didn’t generate enough income to keep the lights on and door open, but INK — Inspiring New Knowledge — did just that: Children became readers, stories were passed on, and people learned more about themselves and each other.

And gather we did: in the Hand Basket, as a Tribe and in community bound together beyond these walls.

So, even as the door closes on this dream, I am filled with gratitude for those of you in this community and beyond who bought books from INK, but who shared your stories with us as well.

As one chapter ends, another begins. As the story wanes, we are thrown a plot twist. And although our closing may give you a book hangover, leaving you with the feeling of losing a friend, we will find another way to gather and our stories will continue.

Julie Johnson
INK Book Gathering Owner