The Fountainhead Bookstore, Hendersonville, NC

Valerie (l) and her daughter Melise.

Valerie (l) and her daughter Melise.

For a short time, I lived in the quaint town of Hendersonville, North Carolina, whose Main Street is chock full of adorable shops. One of those was a bookstore. That shop is now under new management, and I’m happy to have been invited to speak at The Fountainhead Bookstore in February. I’ll post reminders closer to the date, but I’m pleased to share this short interview with Valerie Wellbourn, the shop’s bookseller. Here’s my chat with Valerie.

Can you tell us about The Fountainhead Bookstore?

We have an eclectic selection, including a Children’s Section for the very young up to age 8 and a Tween Section. Customers tell us that we have a wonderful selection within each genre. We try to be a place where bookworms feel welcome and get social opportunities to meet other bookworms.

How did you become a bookseller?

I was a land surveyor for many years, believe it or not. In December of 2009 the local bookstore on Main Street had gone out of business.  I was actually looking for just such an opportunity, and as a book lover myself had gotten tired of always driving to the nearest big city, Asheville, for book shopping and book clubs.  I opened the kind of bookstore that I had always wished for in our town.

 What are some of your favorite books for kids? 

A few of my favorite picture books are: Blockhead (of course), pop-ups like Flanimals or the new Harry Potter pop-up book. One Red Dot is awesome, Of Thee I Sing is a great new one, and Children Make Terrible Pets is very funny.  I like the concept of Beautiful Oops! very much. I could go on and on.

Why do you think you so many people love the shop?

Customers tell us that they really appreciate the ambience, our helpfulness, and the friendly atmosphere.  Plus, they can find certain books here that are hard to find anywhere else.

Why should people support independent bookstore over chains or online stores?

Just remember, Amazon nor Kindle will never, ever host your favorite author.  Nor will they ever host a book club. If local indie stores disappear, all you’re likely to be offered in the future are mainstream books (which are not bad in and of themselves, but your choices will be limited). 

The Fountainhead Bookstore will host my talk on February 19, starting at 3 PM. The store is located at 408 North Main Street, Hendersonville, NC.


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