Owners of The Last Word say communal is a great way to describe their non-traditional used bookstore. Communal and green.
The bubbling cauldron of entertainment options doubles as community gathering place for artists, musicians and anyone who loves books, movies or video games. It serves as a trading post for people to buy, sell or trade nearly every type of media and small electronics. There are other things to see and do: A colorful puppet theater beckons from a small corner of a substantial youth section. An art gallery near one of the two entrances showcases the works of local artists and musicians. You can read or play checkers at one of the themed seating areas.
Elizabeth Pope and her sons, Marshall and Matthew, came up with their business idea after working in similar stores. Pope grew up in Long Island, N.Y., where her mother would take her to the library weekly. Her sons wear the “techie” and “gamer” hats for the business.
The Last Word doesn’t come across as your traditional used bookstore, so how do you describe your business? It’s basically an interactive book store. We also have different things for people to do while they’re here. It’s all color-coded: Blue is non-fiction, yellow is for kids, red is fiction, green is video games, orange is CDs and purple is DVDs. It helps define the store and give it some color. It’s filled with all sorts of things that are good for your body and good for your brain. The tagline we kind of have is “entertainment and education for everyone.”
Why did you open The Last Word? We think it’s a great concept because we don’t make anything new. We basically take things that people don’t want and sell it to people who do want them, and it just keeps getting sold back and forth without having to make anything new. I like the concept that if you don’t want it, somebody else might. It’s a very green business.
Why is a business like this important to the community? I think everybody should have the opportunity to be around books and should be able to afford them even if you don’t have a lot of money. I couldn’t think of anything better than to work a in a place that recycles stuff, and recycles stuff I love.
The Last Word is at 230 E. W.T. Harris Blvd., Suite B11, in the Grande Promenade shopping center. 704-817-9416; The Last Word.