And The Award For Bookstore of the Year Goes To: Raven Book Store in Lawrence

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Lawrence’s Raven Book Store, a small independent bookstore, has been awarded Publishers Weekly’s Bookstore of the Year for 2022.

Although several bookshops from all around the country were evaluated, the award for best book store of the year goes to one in the Midwest.

Since its inception in 1987, The Raven has been known as a mystery book store.  Now, the building’s front is marked to show which sections are dedicated to fiction, poetry, mysteries, politics, and children’s literature.

According to Raven Book Store’s children’s manager, Mary Wahlmeier Bracciano, she’s been there for the last four years now, too. As an employee, she has experienced the community’s support for small business principles.

According to the co-op business model, the store’s majority owner has a 51 percent stake, while seven booksellers each own a 7 percent stake and together they manage the remaining 49 percent of the firm.  Bracciano explains that this arrangement allows those who have a personal connection to the shop to possess a share in the business that isn’t financially demanding.

One of Raven Book Store’s strengths is its openness about being politically involved and fighting for workers to be paid fairly to further legitimate the book business, despite its proximity to chain bookstores and Amazon.  As someone who is still “blown away” that the Raven has received such an honour, Bracciano gives gratitude to those who have remained faithful over the years.

As Bracciano put it, “We’re so popular in this community because of customers that started coming in the very  beginning.”  809 Massachusetts Street is the address of Raven Book Store.  Hours of Operation: Monday through Saturday 9 a.m to 8 p.m.; Sunday 12-5 p.m.; Holidays: Closed