Many booksellers are heading to BookExpo America next week. But Cathy Fiebach is planning to give the show a pass. Instead she’ll be opening the doors on May 28 to her new 1,700 sq. ft. bookstore, Main Point Books in Bryn Mawr, Pa., on Philadelphia’s Main Line. Although Fiebach says that she’s delaying the store’s grand opening celebration until September, she wants to take advantage of the crowds expected for the U.S. Open (June 10-16), which is being held at the Merion Golf Course in nearby Ardmore.
In preparation for opening the store, Fiebach attended bookseller school at last year’s BEA. She also networked at the fall New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association trade show. But she didn’t need much brushing up on the financial side of the business. Fiebach holds an MBA from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and worked for Unilever in marketing and brand management before turning to bookselling. “It’s hard for me to do something and not try to make it financially successful,” says Fiebach, who has positioned the store near several universities, including Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore. It’s also near where three big box stores once stood, two Borders locations and a Barnes & Noble.
People who lived in the city of Brotherly Love in the ‘60s or ‘70s might recognize the bookstore’s name, which hearkens back to another area business, since gone, the Main Point coffeehouse. Not that it’s directly connected. “The Main Point coffeehouse did a lot with introducing people to new music. I’m hoping to do the same thing with books,” says Fiebach. “You can discover new writers.” The store will have a strong literary fiction section and YA. Main Point’s first event, set for June 4, is part of the Young Authors Give Back Tour with free writing workshops for aspiring writers, ages 13-22. The four participating authors are: Erin Bowman (Taken), Susan Dennard (Something Strange and Deadly), Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass), and Kat Zhang (What’s Left of Me). Local cookbook author Hope Cohen will talk about Fast, Fresh +Simple later in the month.
Right now, Fiebach is focused on getting the store ready. “I put in a new floor and lighting. I’ve had 20 friends help me unpack all the books,” she says. But she’s still finishing displays. Golf books anyone?