New stores prep for openings in North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania; a beloved store in Illinois adds a new outlet, in New York; a California bookstore gets ready to change hands; and more.

Grand Opening for Quimby’s in Brooklyn: Last month the 25-year-old Chicago bookstore, which specializes in zines, alternative magazines, and underground books, held a soft opening for its new store next to Desert Island Comics in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, N.Y. A grand opening is slated for Saturday February 4. In addition to champagne and hors d’oeuvres, the event coincide with the opening of the first major survey of works by sculptor and collage artist Eric Kirsammer.

City of Asylum Opens in Pittsburgh Saturday: Nonprofit City of Asylum, which has offered refuge to writers in exile for a number of years, will open a bookstore on January 14 inside the renovated Masonic hall, now called Alphabet City. The eponymous bookstore will share the 9,000 sq. ft. space with a broadcast studio and a wine and cheese restaurant, Casellula @ Alphabet City, to open January 28. Lesley Rains, who owned East End Book Exchange in Bloomfield, which she sold last June, is managing the bookstore on the city’s North Side.

Bookmarks Signs Lease for Winston-Salem Bookstore: The literary nonprofit signed a ten-year lease late last month to build a 4,600 sq. ft. bookstore and meeting place. They will partner with Foothills Brewery, which is negotiating a lease on a contiguous 5,400 sq. ft. space for a bar and restaurant. Plans call for Bookmarks to break ground February 1 and open this summer.

Sale of Diesel’s Oakland, Calif., Location Moves Forward: Brad Johnson is getting closer to his $200,000 goal to purchase the store, which he plans to rename East Bay Booksellers. On Sunday, February 5, Johnson is hosting a thank-you party to introduce the bookstore’s lenders to each other and to sign loan documents.

Used Bookstore to Open in Ashland, Ohio: Wes Wyse, who owns Useless Junk in Sullivan, plans to open Ashland Books on March 1. The bookstore is an outgrowth of the book room in Useless Junk, which he has run for the past decade. “The books have kind of expanded beyond what we can handle in the antique store,” Wyse told Ashland Source.

NAIBA Rep of the Year Award Renamed to Honor Kristin Keith: Beginning with its annual Sales Rep of the Year award to be given in Cherry Hill, N.J., on October 7, the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association will be renamed in memory of rep Kristin Keith, who died on January 4 from Myelofibrosis, a rare form of leukemia. In 2013, Keith won the NAIBA Rep of the Year award for her dedication and enthusiasm for the book industry and book people.

U Book Store Closing Its Bellevue, Wash., Location: University Book Store is closing its 19,000 sq. ft. store in Bellevue on February 15 and looking for a smaller space on the Eastside. “We believe our business, and the Trust which governs our operations, will be better served by leasing the space that our store currently occupies to another retail tenant,” wrote CEO Louise Little in a press release. U Bookstore has six other locations in the Seattle area.