This summer, the Carmichael’s Bookstore empire expands again. This time, they’re going down the block from their Highlands location at Bardstown Road and Longest Avenue to open the child friendly Carmichael's Kids.
Louisville’s oldest independent bookseller has secured the property at 1313 Bardstown Road which puts the new store next to the Bristol Bar and Grille and Discoveries. That’s practically next door and an easy jaunt for parents to take the kids to their own bookstore.
Kelly Estep, the new store’s manager, is setting up the space to be primarily a bookstore. However, there will be sections for toys, games and gifts to go with the kid lit. In a press release, Estep said, “We’ve wanted to open a store devoted to children’s books for some time now, but the right opportunity hadn’t come along.”
The 36-year-old bookseller got funding from James Patterson, the author of the Alex Cross collection of novels as well as the Michael Bennett series. Patterson is a champion for independent bookstores to the point where he took out ads in Publisher’s Weekly and The New York Times Book Review that were titled “Who Will Save Our Books? Our Bookstores? Our Libraries?”
And he’s put his money where his rhetoric is. Last September, he pledged to give away $1 million to independent bookstores nationwide. In the first round of grants, Patterson gave 54 stores a split of $267,000. Carmichael’s got money from the second round in which Patterson gave 43 stores a share of $268,00.
Combine the money with the location coming available and Estep says, “We knew it was time to make this idea a reality.”
The 1313 Bardstown Road storefront is currently being remodeled, and Carmichael’s is targeting an August grand opening.
Photo by Tim Girton
Cover photo courtesy of Carmichael's