Sunday, June 12, 2016

Main Point Books

My daughter, Cathy, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a combined major in English and Economics.  She then took her LSAT's for law school because she was not sure what she wanted to do after college.  She did well on the test but as Cathy put it,  "the essay on my law school  application 'why do you want to be a lawyer?' saved me”!

Instead Cathy got a job at a prestigious  public relations company, Hill & Knowlton.  Not satisfied with her well paying job and nice office, she went on for her MBA at Wharton Business school and got a job at Lever Brothers where she was given a cubical from which to market soap products.   Proving her father wrong yet again, she made back her tuition and lost salary within the year!

Like so many women of her generation she then left the labor force and went on to bear two sons, Joshua and Matthew.  As they reached junior high and high school she would pick up small jobs here and there using her business school skills and worked for her kids school in development.

Cathy loved to read from a very young age and always had her face in a book even in the bathtub!    When her boys were old enough to take care of themselves, it was only natural for her to follow her dream and open a book store.  Happily, throughout this process her husband, Jon, who is in the financial world, was there to support her and give her intelligent advice.

Photo by Dan Stiebel

Now her business degree came in handy.  The first question to answer was where to open the bookstore.  She lives in one of the towns outside Philadelphia and  wanted it to be within easy driving distance of home and find an area where she could depend on people interested in books.  She hit upon Bryn Mawr where there's are several colleges and the last book store, a Barnes & Noble, had closed 18 months before.  Her shop was lovely but modest, with little room for expansion.  We have been in a few times and It did have a wonderful selection of books.  In fact I was surprised to see that the Native American writer, Sherman Alexie had books in 3 different sections of her shop.   I have sent a few people from New York and even Santa Fe there who loved it and particularly Cathy's expert counsel on book selection, either for an individual or as a gift.

Photo by Matt Godfrey

Unfortunately, there is not enough going on in the area to bring the the foot traffic desired to Bryn Mawr's Lancaster Avenue.  When Cathy learned about a larger space in the nearby town of Wayne she went to see it.   There she found that the new space was larger and on a street with 4 restaurants and the movie theater emptied out a couple of doors down.  If you come in by train and walk into town you have to pass the new Main Point Books. This will all add up to far more foot traffic!  Her husband was also encouraging the expansion.  They both knew that if you don't grow you shrink. She went for it! 

Here is an interview Cathy gave about her book store and the opening of the new one:

In the extra space she is not going to put in the proverbial coffee bar but rather make more room for books and an expanded space for people to come and attend the more than 100 programs she has a year for book groups, children’s book readings and  authors signing their books and talking about them.

Main Point Books in Wayne is not quite ready yet.  It is scheduled to open on July 25 with the official celebration of its new home on Sunday, July 31 ... with a midnight launch party for the new Harry Potter Script, the play, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”.

1 comment:

  1. What an impressive young woman. I listened to the entire interview. You and Penelope must be very proud of Cathy.