I initially heard word of Good Books in a shiny newsletter from The Well, The Well Space, a social network for professional Black women. Under the “This Week” section I saw a bullet point: “Skip Amazon and buy your next book from this Black women owned bookstore.” Girl. Interest Piqued. Let’s GO.
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"Why Black books?" We get that question a lot. Sometimes the asker is genuinely curious, other times they're incredulous. Either way, our answer is always the same — Because we love Black folks and Black books. Good Books has been out in the world for a little over a month, and we're over the moon. The support we've received from family, friends, and strangers alike has been motivating and humbling. Motivating us to think of innovative ways to share the ancient passtime of reading. Humbling because we know the storied history of the Black literary tradition, and we want to do it justice. Wondering how you can support Good Books? 1. Follow us on Instagram @goodbooksatl. 2. Share this post. 3. Buy a book from us. We ship all over the U.S. Our DMs are open and we accept Cash App ($goodbooksatl) and Venmo (goodbooksatl). 4. Buy a ticket to Well Read + Well Fed (link in bio). We're co-hosting our very first pop-up with @cookncater on July 14th. Each ticket comes with dinner and a book. And we'll have a lot of giveaways too! If you can't make it, consider sponsoring a ticket. 5. Invite us to vend at your event. 6. Send nice words and affirmations ? Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. In jubilee, Katherine + Katie ?: @arosscoleman
Katherine and Katie are a mother-daughter duo who consider Good Books, their fledgling company, to be their love letter to their community, to Blackness, to us. The short and affirming letter written by Katie, co-curator details the personal mission:
“My mom raised me on Black books — reading Black authors, reciting Black poems, and genuinely thinking Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou were my aunties.
My love for reading and Blackness never waned. In a way, I became my mother as I encouraged anyone who would listen to pick up a Black book. New or vintage. Acclaimed or obscure. All Black books are Good Books.
Good Books is an online and pop-up bookstore curated by me and my mom. It marries our two loves — books and Black folks. From Toni Morrison to Tupac Shakur, we pay homage to Blackness through literature.”
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My mom raised me on Black books — reading Black authors, reciting Black poems, and genuinely thinking Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou were my aunties. My love for reading and Blackness never waned. In a way, I became my mother as I encouraged anyone who would listen to pick up a Black book. New or vintage. Acclaimed or obscure. All Black books are Good Books. Good Books is an online and pop-up bookstore curated by me and my mom. It’s our love letter to our community, to Blackness, to you. Swipe to see a first peek at our collection and DM us if you’re interested in purchasing anything you see. In jubilee, Katherine + Katie (UPDATE: Assata, Grey Fannie Lou Hamer, Sula, Tower to Heaven, Grandma’s House, A is for Activist, and Alice Walker poems SOLD)
Perusing their website reveals a white back-grounded site that’s easy to navigate, centered is gorgeous photography with a top book list on the homepage. The bottom of the homepage features a few Good Reads faithful readers and buyers with their purchases centering their #GoodBooksGoodPeople hashtag — a cleverly named series where Kate interviews Black folks about their favorite Black books. WIN!
With prices that won’t break the bank, Good Books offers a carefully curated collection of Black literature for sale that includes vintage versions (Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, to name a few). There are a few signed copies and many kid lit books that many of us haven’t cracked open in years. Checking out the shop is pure joy: I’m scrolling and seeing books I’ve haven’t read from cover to cover since I had braids and beads in my head. There’s a good mix of reading material for the young and the young at heart with novels, children’s picture books and the coveted reads from my middle school years. Blessings upon Blessings, there’s even a copy of The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales in all its glory! With bundles of books by author such as Roxane Gay to children’s books bundles by series like Amazing Grace — there’s a lot of love.
Black women as female-business owners are the fastest-growing demographic of entrepreneurs in the U.S. yet we are the group that lacks so much from resources to capital. So it is exciting to find a Black women owned business that is working on so many levels.
I was especially touched when I listened to Katie in an Instagram video say that she felt like she was sharing her childhood because so many of the books that they are selling are their personal copies. WHEW. I’m not crying, you are! Here’s to celebrating Black books, Black folks and the legacy of Black women being able to provide others with literature about us!
Check out Good Books, share it with your favorite Black woman and ask her to share it with hers.
Want to support this independent, Women-Owned, Black bookstore? Check out their serenely entertaining Instagram page, peep their site at www.goodbooksatl.com and if you’re in the Atlanta area, be sure to sign up for their newsletter to be informed of their next pop-up event.
Shout out to Black women and shout-out to Black women supporting other Black women.
All Photos Courtesy of Good Books website.