A Cappella Books turns 30 this year. For this installment of the Creative Loafing podcast, owner Frank Reiss stopped by Short Notice Studio to talk about the Inman Park store’s history and its legacy as an Atlanta institution. Few brick and mortar bookstores have survived, and even fewer have thrived as online companies such as Amazon.com have dominated the retail book business for nearly two decades. But as Reiss says, “It’s a good time to be an independent bookstore.” The secret to A Cappella’s success is its persistence and dedication to remaining deeply entrenched within the local arts communities, supporting artists, authors, and musicians while keeping a tight focus on running what’s often called “the smartest bookstore in town.” As part of A Cappella’s ongoing 30th-year anniversary celebration, Reiss and the store’s employees have culled together a compilation of their favorite books, “A Cappella’s 30,” which tells the store’s history in more than 300 titles.
For this podcast interview, Reiss reveals his outlook as an independent bookseller and business owner, while telling stories about Atlanta author Paul Hemphill, A Cappella’s first employee, singer-songwriter Richard Buckner, and more of the characters he’s worked with along the way. Press play!