A Little History
Bound To Be Read Books was most likely founded as a result of owner Jeff McCord’s midlife crisis. There is no other explanation as to how a chance conversation in Canada with a Florida lawyer who owned a used bookstore in London, Ontario (it’s a long story) could inspire Jeff to venture into the wild world of retail bookselling.
Fixated on the possibilities of value and quality that a used book store could bring to the community, Jeff started in 2004 buying up large quantities of awesome books wherever he could find them. And his many friends also chipped in and often dropped off books on his front porch. The books soon filled the house. So many books, in fact, that one day Jeff could no longer open the front door of his house because of all the boxes of books stacked in his living room.
Taking this as a sign of cosmic significance – and not wanting to live on the porch – Jeff rented a storage unit and began searching for a space to lease for a bookstore in the under-served neighborhoods of Southeast Atlanta.
A Funky Cool Neighborhood
In May, 2005, Jeff signed a lease for a storefront in East Atlanta Village, a funky part of Atlanta that only the coolest people ever knew about. Leave it up to the New York Times to blow the lid off that secret, because they named East Atlanta Village as a top Atlanta hot spot in an article in their travel section in May, 2005. Hoardes of camera-toting tourists suddenly appeared in the EAV. Well, not really – but it certainly piqued the interest of some adventurous types who had never heard of East Atlanta before. When they came in the summer of 2005, visitors found ripped up sidewalks from a new streetscape improvement project then underway, a new library just opening, and lots of cool shops, restaurants, and clubs within walking distance of a couple of great neighborhoods.
Visitors to the EAV that summer also found the signs saying “New Bookstore Opening Soon” in the windows at 481-B (B for “books”!) Flat Shoals Avenue. With the help of many friends, family, and a borrowed circular saw, Jeff toiled diligently to transform a skinny retail space into an emporium of enlightenment. Branching out from used books, Jeff also brought in lots of great new and discount books, and acquired a small, very slightly used kitten. Cards, journals and magazines were also on the agenda. Blisters, splinters and sore muscles weren’t on the agenda, but they were all acquired.
Taking the time to “get it right”, Jeff and his helpers worked through the summer of 2005 and opened the doors of Bound To Be Read Books on September 16, 2005. Georgia’s newest independent bookstore was born! There was great rejoicing.
Bound To Be Read Books is constantly bringing in new inventory, new sidelines, and trying new ideas and interesting events. The store continues to evolve and respond to the feedback we get from our customers and our community. We value and appreciate your input!
A Little Farther Back…
In the summer of 1864, Flat Shoals Avenue was the site of Union Army trenches, dug to defend Union positions during the Battle and Siege of Atlanta. On July 22, 1864, the Confederate Army left the heavily fortified Atlanta city limits and attacked the Union troops in a vain effort to drive them away from the city. The line of attack stretched from the present East Atlanta Village – where an artillery emplacement was located – northward to beyond the Decatur rail line. Some of the heaviest fighting was at nearby Bald Hill (Leggett’s Hill), which is now the interchange of I-20 and Moreland Avenue.
While you may not hear the ghosts of the soldiers slain on the historic ground where our bookstore now stands, their lives and voices echo still in the pages of the books gathered here on the shelves of our Civil War section. We honor the memory and sacrifice of all who fought and died here so long ago.