Synopses & Reviews
An inspiring true story about losing your place, finding your purpose, and building a community one book at a time.
Wendy Welch and her husband had always dreamed of owning a bookstore,
so when they left their high-octane jobs for a simpler life in an
Appalachian coal town, they seized an unexpected opportunity to pursue
their dream. The only problems? A declining U.S. economy, a small town
with no industry, and the advent of the e-book. They also had no idea
how to run a bookstore. Against all odds, but with optimism, the help of
their Virginian mountain community, and an abiding love for books, they
succeeded in establishing more than a thriving business — they built a
The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap is the story of the
little bookstore that could: how two people, two cats, two dogs, and
thirty-eight thousand books helped a small town find its heart. It is a
tale of people and books, and how together they create community.
"Amusing, engaging, astute,
and perceptive, Welch's buoyant memoir of an endangered way of life is a
fervent affirmation of the power of books to bring people together." Booklist
"The whole narrative exudes enormous charm and the value of dreams and lives truly lived." Publishers Weekly
"An entertaining book with a full cast of eccentric characters." Kirkus
About the Author
Wendy Welch and her husband (Scottish folksinger Jack Beck) own and operate Tales of the Lonesome Pine Used Books in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. An Ethnography PhD, she rescues shelter animals (Spay and neuter, thanks!) and is one of the world's fastest crocheters. This is a good thing because between her day job teaching college courses on culture and public health, running special events at the shop, writing about stuff, and chasing kittens out of roads, she doesn't have a lot of spare time.