As Gramercy Books marks its first anniversary at 2424 E. Main St., proprietor Linda Kass, a noted author herself, is planning a variety of events for 2018.
"We're literally booked up with events through April," Kass said. "We just had our grand opening weekend in late January. Now we're getting contacted by the big five publishers (Penguin Randomhouse; HarperCollins; Simon & Schuster; Hachette; and Macmillan Publishers)."
Since Gramercy Books and the adjacent Kittie's Cakes bakery officially opened in December 2016, the bookstore has been host to 75 events, featuring authors from every genre, Kass said. In addition to appearances by authors, the store also hosts ongoing monthly events such as a community book club on the fourth Tuesday and a Poetry Night with readings and workshops by local poets on the fourth Thursday.
"We're excited about the community's support of the bookstore. We've had people from every suburb here," Kass said. "People are driving to come here for a curated, quality bookstore, and one that allows opportunities for connection like we do."
Kass said the store planned to celebrate the anniversary with a customer appreciation day on Dec. 12. Among the high-profile events planned for 2018 is an appearance by best-selling author and activist Father Greg Boyle for a discussion of his second book, "Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship," at 8 p.m. Feb. 7.
Boyle is a Jesuit priest and founder of Homeboy Industries, one of the largest gang intervention and rehabilitation programs in the world.
"His book is about his three decades of working with gang members in Los Angeles," Kass said. "He's just really inspirational."
Gramercy Books also will continue to partner with the Bexley Public Library as the bookseller for the Bexley Community Author Series, Kass said. The 2017 event featured Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Colson Whitehead ("Underground Railroad'), who spoke in April to a sold-out audience at Bexley High School. The speaker for 2018 has not been announced.
"We all work together in the community," Kass said. "That way, we're able to bring in any kind of author -- one with an intimate audience and one with a really large platform."
Community partnerships have been key to Gramercy's ability to attract authors who may not have otherwise visited the region, Kass said. Bexley's central location, she added, also has been a plus.
"We're near the airport. We have a strong focus on education and reading, a great library, great schools and a university in our backyard," Kass said. "These are all great characteristics for a successful neighborhood bookstore."
For more information about coming events, visit Gramercy BooksBexley.com.