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  • Sara Kruszka

What is a non-profit bookshop?

Visit us on West Broad Street in downtown Cookeville, and you'll likely hear someone explain that Plenty is a non-profit bookshop. But what does that actually mean?

We get that question a lot.

Our goal is for the store to be sustainable and, yes, even profitable. The key difference is that we aim to reinvest our profits into the community in ways that promote literacy and book culture. So when you choose to buy a book from Plenty, you're investing in the Upper Cumberland.

Literacy is essential to living, and yet there are large percentages of the population who cannot read at the level necessary to fully engage with society. When you're literate, you take for granted the ease with which you navigate the world. If you cannot read everything from signing a loan to ordering lunch from a menu becomes more difficult.

The cash register at Plenty Downtown Bookshop in Cookeville, Tennessee.

Our thought is simple. We want to use this bookshop fund efforts to combat illiteracy and place books in homes that may otherwise not be able to afford them. This takes many forms from providing books to schools, families, little book libraries to teaching parents how to read to their children in a way that is fun and engaging.

We also want to promote book culture. In the store, this means that we strive to be an open, welcoming place that allows people with differing beliefs to feel safe. We don't carry many political books in our store because we want our books to unite, rather than divide. We believe in the power of story to bring people together and celebrate our similarities and differences. We love thoughtful, engaged conversations.

We host hundreds of events each year to help build our book culture. These range from children's story times to book clubs, workshops, author visits and midnight book releases.

We know there are plenty of options when it comes to buying books. We thank you for supporting our community, and choosing to shop with Plenty.


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