Letter to the Editor: Still North Books

by Allison Levy | 11/7/19 2:05am

 To the Editor,

It is an honor that students are talking about Still North Books & Bar in advance of our December opening (“Opinion Asks: New Stores in Hanover,” 10/24/19). But the question of whether “businesses in town effectively cater to student needs” sets up a false dichotomy of student-focused versus community-focused. Student needs and community needs are not — and should not be — mutually exclusive.

When I was a student, downtown had more student-oriented businesses than it does today (R.I.P. Bagel Basement and Five Olde). However, the town lacked spaces for students to come together with the community­ — beyond merely sitting in close proximity at a restaurant. Throughout the planning process, the Still North team has kept this need in mind — making design choices, selecting books, even choosing a name that I hope will appeal to both students and residents.

Hanover admittedly lacks some college-town staples. However, the six-week winter interim makes it difficult for businesses to cater exclusively to students. Most retail businesses rely on the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s to carry them through the rest of the year. Thus, to focus solely on students would endanger any brick-and-mortar business, especially given Hanover’s high rents.

To answer the question of whether Still North will cater to students: absolutely. While at this time we are not able to fill the textbook gap left by Wheelock Books, we will be able to order most trade books used in courses. We will also offer student discounts and look forward to being a space for students — as well as the rest of the community — to gather.

Allie Levy ’11 is the Owner of Still North Books & Bar, a bookstore opening in Hanover later this year. She is also a former Arts Editor of The Dartmouth.

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