Bookstores all across America have sadly been closing their doors permanently, victims to the ways of the new digital age for obtaining information and leisure reading. Yet, one Valley bookstore has successfully bucked that national, closing trend to not only survive but to thrive in this most competitive media world.
“We strive to be nimble” is how co-owner Cindy Dach summarizes the key to a forty-one years of business success for Tempe’s historic Changing Hands bookstore. “We adapt with the times. As the world changes, we do too!”
And possibly the most wonderful change for those of us living in the north Valley is the opening of the second Changing Hands Bookstore/First Draft Book Bar on West Camelback Road in Phoenix. Now we too are only a few miles from all the wonderful children and adult programs and author events along with the many great books and gifts for which the Changing Hands bookstore is known.
Since 1974 the good people of the Changing Hands bookstore have “worked hard to make every experience a great one inside of our stores. We concentrate on the community experience” with all the books, programs and gifts offered.
The new book store/book bar is located in the historic Beefeaters Restaurant building, once a hot-spot of Phoenix nightlife. The restaurant’s bar still remains now surrounded by bookshelves, gifts and presentation areas. According to Dach, since the Camelback store is “only 15 months old, we are focusing on making the book bar a really unique experience. There are less than 10 book bars in the country and we want ours to be a pride for Arizona.”
The wonderful, yearlong author series, book clubs, workshops, classes and community events offered by the Changing Hands bookstores make for their charming uniqueness. New York bestselling authors such as Sarah J. Maas, Dav Pilkey and Christopher Moore spoke here this summer, as too did former President Jimmy Carter. On September 5 Adam Bray and Michael Kogge authors of Stormtroopers of the 501st Legion will do a book signing at the First Draft while featuring Star War themed activities.
Recent workshops dealing with comedy writing techniques, writing a mystery thriller, Opera 101, Printing Without A Press and Chanting The Chakras highlight the wide and eclectic offerings found at these two, family-friendly Valley bookstores.
The Changing Hands bookstores in Tempe and now Phoenix feel like comfortable old time establishments that wisely have adapted to the modern digital age. Their highly informative website, e-newsletters and community service projects makes for a digital connected establishment while still being a warm, friendly, repository of knowledge. Go on, take the time to get out and enjoy these two marvelous Valley of the Sun bookstore treasures! You will be delighted by what you discover!