by Laici Little
When I heard that there was a guy in Gainesville who was starting an indie bookstore, I knew exactly who I was going to talk to for this week’s blog.
Luckily, although the Broken Shelves hasn’t officially opened its doors yet, there was a small meet and greet held on Friday.
David Astor, the man behind the project, was definitely as cool as one would expect a man opening an indie bookstore to be. I interviewed Astor while he poured wine for other customers, and I found out that he is 26 and originally from New York. He is also a self-proclaimed Knicks and Yankees fan who enjoys sports in general. Other than reading, a rather obvious passion, he is also into art.
The most interesting thing about Astor, however, is that he once worked as a journalist for a couple of years in the Middle East.
As one might assume, opening Broken Shelves takes up much of Astor’s focus at the moment. He is passionate not only about providing a very focused book selection to his audience, but also about creating an environment that lends itself to being a conducive atmosphere for conversation. What Astor really wants is for the bookstore to double as a hub for people to learn from one another.
Whether you’re interested in learning about graffiti art or international travels — or some unusual associated antics that probably shouldn’t be placed in the printed public domain — you should check out Astor’s store. He is big on people learning from one another and said that there will be a specific time devoted to people sharing what they have learned along their way.
As I already mentioned, Astor is into art, so perhaps it is no surprise that he is incorporating that interest into the bookstore. He plans to feature a variety of art forms, including prints, sculptures and ceramics from local, regional and more established artists.
Our conversation ended with Astor relaying his hopes that people would come in and meet him. He said that even though he has a hard time thinking of things to say about himself, he enjoys having conversations and getting to know others. He thinks that those who come into the store will probably find out a lot about him rather quickly because he is a very open individual.
So go see David! Broken Shelves is a not only a bookstore with over a thousand books on the shelves, but also a licensed alcohol provider, which will keep hours that work for college students. Check out Broken Shelve’s Facebook page and look for David at the grand opening in early April.