Keith and Polly Reynolds share an everlasting bond. photos by Keith Borgmeyer Polly Reynolds met Keith when she was 14 years old. He was...
After one visit to Skylark Bookshop, you will never want to shop for books through a screen again. From its atmosphere to community commitment, the independent is nourishing the Columbia literary community.
While keeping intact the original ambience of the building, the space at 22 S. Ninth St. was updated with alabaster walls and shelves complemented by airy wood. The combination balances a spa-like serenity with excitement to engage with the surrounding colorful books.
“We wanted you to walk in and see the depth of the literature and the space,” says Carrie Koepke, Skylark’s manager and co-creator.
Since opening in August, the response to Skylark has been more than welcoming. “We had regulars almost instantly,” says Carrie. “It’s been wonderful to see what we hoped would happen actually occur.”
Carrie credited Columbia’s strong support of the arts and intellectual endeavors along with being a well sized university town with many authors and readers as the perfect spot for a store like Skylark.
“It’s just out of this world. Everyone feels at home,” says Marsha Sergent, a Skylark regular. “They will hold anything for us; they will order anything for us.”
Skylark’s selection services are like nothing else in the area. From their subscription services, delivering carefully chosen books to your door, or the reading spa that offers a blissful, curated shopping experience, Skylark is eager to share.
“We love getting the right books into the right hands,” says Carrie. “A lot of people coming looking for a book, don’t really know what they’re looking for, but if you ask them the appropriate questions you can figure out what they want to read.”
Unusual to bookstores, Skylark carries a larger poetry section. Its success has been a pleasing surprise to Carrie and her staff. “It’s not a typical thing in a bookstore for the poetry section to be a big deal, but we get a lot of business in the poetry section.”
Starting in 2019, Skylark will offer their own book clubs. Skylark has a broad audience to cater to, including eager children. “We have a diverse group of employees, so that’s going to help create a diverse set of interests for the book clubs as well,” says Carrie. The variation will ensure something for every level and niche.