Nancy Olson, founder of Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, N.C., died yesterday from kidney disease. Olson, who was 75 years old, ran Quail Ridge for 29 years.

In an e-mail to customers, general manager Sarah Goddin credited Olson with inspiring North Carolina’s literary revival. “Her love for literature and music, combined with her warm and expansive personality, inspired and influenced a literary Renaissance in the Raleigh community and was felt well beyond it. Those of us who were fortunate to work with her will always be guided by her passion, integrity, and courage, spiced with a large dose of humor,” Goddin said.

Goddin described Quail Ridge as the first strong independent in Raleigh. When Olson moved there and couldn't find a bookstore she wanted to frequent, she opened her own in 1984. Olson befriended and promoted local writers like Charles Frazier, Lee Smith, Jill McCorkle, Allan Gurganus, and Clyde Egerton.

Publishers Weekly named Olson and Quail Ridge the 2001 Bookseller of the Year. At the time, Olson noted that the store made little profit. Nonetheless, she said: “I’m satisfied because I’m doing a great community service, and I have a great life.”

Olson retired and sold the store to Lisa Poole in 2013.

A memorial service will be announced on the Quail Ridge website.