Doug Terranova, a former Borders bookseller, and his wife Cathy plan to open a community-oriented bookstore Books & Banter, in Lawton, Okla., in March 2014. Named for what they want their store to represent, “a place where people engage in conversation about books,” Books & Banter will have three storefronts. Its physical storefront will be a 2,200 sq. ft. location in Lawton, to include a children’s section, which will be a little under a quarter of the store’s size. It will also offer an online presence and a used book site on Choosing to sell only new books in the store, Terranova sees the store as a way to “take a competitor and turn it into an opportunity.”

Opportunity is what Books & Banter is all about. It, along with community strength and support, is what inspired the Terranovas. “We believe that a love for literature, promoting literacy, music, and art is the winning combination to helping improve a community,” said Doug. “We want to succeed to continue to do more for our community. If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

As part of the change, he plans to offer low-cost to free tutoring for school-aged kids. Terranova, who grew up in Lawton and recalls a number of struggling, illiterate high school classmates, aims to be part of the solution to the city’s literacy struggle. “There isn’t a lot in Lawton here for tutoring, and one of the main places charges around $42 an hour. A lot of children who need tutoring are from lower income homes.”

Another community focus for Books & Banter is to help local artists and musicians reach new audiences. “We'll hang local art to sell on consignment, only taking about 10% of the sale, and host local acoustic shows a few times a month.” The store will also carry a selection of self-published titles. Cathy is a self-published author in addition to being an artist and musician, and Books & Banter is committed to “helping out the ‘little guy’ in the publishing world as well.”

With the store set to open in March, Terranova plans to hire three part-time employees in January. To learn more about their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo visit here.