Spotlight: New chapter

Nick Pironio

Nick Pironio

by Jessie Ammons

It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later. In fact, it’s see you very soon for Quail Ridge Books. Raleigh’s beloved independent bookstore will close its doors at the Ridgewood Shopping Center this month to move about five miles up to North Hills. The move should take about a month, says owner Lisa Poole; the new location should open its doors by the end of April.

It’ll be a big change for the book store, which has drawn booklovers to its Wade Avenue location for almost two decades. But after failed rent negotiations necessitated the move, Poole has decided the result will be a good one. “We got tons of emails from customers that said they’re following us to North Hills,” Poole says. “We have so many neat ideas. We’re going to have the same comfy space that we do now, with the fireplace and the comfortable chairs. And we’re going to have a fabulous children’s section: We’re going to get in there and just really have fun, so that children will come and want to stay. There are so many cool things coming.”

The new spot will be ever-so-slightly smaller, but Poole says there’s a potential to expand. And she might want to do that if her demographic grows: She’s hopeful about the the mothers with strollers and middle school kids she sees around North Hills, which has six schools within a mile. “I think we will have a younger crowd there than we did.”

New customers will help fuel the bookstore’s fresh start. “To have a new store, a brand new store, that looks exactly the way we at Quail Ridge want it to look, is very exciting,” Poole says. The staff has taken the charge seriously, paying close attention to other spaces near and far. A recent trip to Denver for the American Book Association conference turned into “a book store tour all around Boulder and Denver. We have looked at book stores all over the place: up in New England, in the South.”

Rest assured that the new Quail Ridge location will represent the best of the best, the true essence of readers’ familiar destination. “This is going to be everything that we want in a book shop. And we’re still going to carry the best literature that’s out there. That won’t change one bit.”