MATTOON -- The Reading Grounds bookshop has opened in downtown Mattoon, offering new and used books in a variety of genres plus a reading room where customers can page through them.
Shop owner Angie Jacobs of Mattoon opened The Reading Grounds on Saturday in a storefront at 109 N. 16th St., located in the block between Broadway Avenue and the Mattoon Area Family YMCA. She also plans to offer a book club for adults and a children's story hour.
As an avid reader, Jacobs said she wants to help meet the need for a bookshop downtown following the closure of The Book Nook last spring. In addition, Jacobs said she misses the Common Grounds coffee shop that closed last fall and wants to offer a new gathering place with a similar spirit downtown where readers can feel at home while reading good book.
"There is nothing like a book in hand," Jacobs said. The reading room offers free wireless service, and soda and snacks are available for purchase there.
The Reading Grounds' book selection includes children's and young adult titles, classics, Christian and world religions, self-help, biography, health, science-fiction, history, sports, true crime, westerns, mystery, romance, sports and more.
Jacobs, a communication studies professor at Eastern Illinois University, said most of her stock is comprised of used books, including inventory from The Book Nook. She noted that the shop has a store credit trade service for gently used books. The shop also carries new books for adults and children, and can order new books.
"We can order anything you want," Jacobs said.
Regarding the book club, monthly titles will be displayed by the front check-out kiosk. Community members are invited to pick up their book, read it, and then attend a book club gathering from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the last Monday of each month. The June title is "A Man Called Ove."
The story hour will be offered for children ages 3-6 from 10 to 11 a.m. every Saturday, starting June 15. Parents should accompany their children.
The Reading Grounds will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday each week. More information is available by calling the shop at 217-317-2017 or visiting thereadinggrounds.com.