Address: 200 North Main Street, Belmont, NC 28012
Owner: David Bratcher
For a woman who loves to hit the road and talk books, I have found the perfect indie, Bookin’ It!, a mobile bookstore. That’s right, a bookstore on wheels. How perfect is that? Bookin’ It! is a 24-foot, air-conditioned, Nascar trailer turned bookstore, outfitted with wooden bookshelves, cozy rugs and fireplace. Yes, fireplace! OK, the fireplace is electric, but the ambiance is perfectly toasty!
But it gets even better than that. Bookin’ It! is celebrating its birthday today. Whoohoo! Blow out some candles and make a wish because three years ago today the Bookin’ It! trailer was pulled into a Main Street parking lot in Belmont, North Carolina, (its semi-permanent home) and opened its door. And the Bookin’ It! staff hasn’t stopped rolling since – traveling to birthday parties, school festivals, corporate events, and underserved communities in the state of North Carolina.
I visited Bookin’ It! this week and found president David Bratcher eager to show me his mobile store. David is mentally disabled, but at Bookin’ It, he has found his passion and his place, putting books in the hands of readers. He particularly loves to read to children, dress up in character costumes, and make balloon animals. And his devoted family is always there eager to lend a helping hand. Mom, Simone, runs the behind-the-scenes operation. Dad pulls the trailer; and big sis, Yvonne, helps with sales. David’s good friend, Renee Hill, is always there to lend a hand and always with a sparkling smile on her face.
David held several other jobs after graduating from high school, but he often felt isolated and marginalized. “He didn’t want to be picking up trash in a parking lot. He wanted more for himself, and we wanted more for our son,” says Simone. “David is a giver and what better thing for him to be doing than to be sharing the gift of books.”
In this tough economy, Simone believes Bookin’ It! has what it takes to make it. In fact, she believes the advantage of a mobile bookstore is, well, priceless. Bookin’ It! can go to the customer. “In fact, we joke,” laughs Simone, “we not only go looking our customers, we run them down!.”
So if you want to visit a store unlike no other, then check out Bookin’ It, and tell David that Susan said “HI!”