Kennedy’s Books moving to new home. |

Kennedy’s Books moving to new home.

Rex Bovee

Facing the challenge of corporate chain marketing and Internet book sales, Kennedy’s Books owner Melissa Gower is making some big changes.

Kennedy’s, long a fixture in the Carson Mall, is moving into a two-story remodeled Victorian house on John Street.

The pink house and its yard surrounded by a wrought iron fence will soon accommodate reading groups, cozy book nooks, outdoor tea drinkers, workshops and other touches to set Kennedy’s off from corporate stores, Gower said Wednesday.

“We’ve been needing to make changes to survive in the changing book market,” Gower said. “I’ve been thinking about it for about a year, but things really got rolling when I signed the lease in December.”

Shelving from the mall store has been installed at the new location and the mall store will close for the final time at 6 p.m. Saturday. Inventory will be moved to the new Kennedy’s over the next few days and Gower will open for business on John Street at 10 a.m. on Feb. 23.

“I really wanted to go in a different direction. I wanted our own front door, so we could extend our hours in the summer. I wanted to provide an atmosphere that is nurturing, a place where people could come and talk and meet,” she said.

“More importantly, though, we’ll still be able to offer the things that Kennedy’s has also done so well. Western history, local authors, as well as special orders – all that will remain the same.”

She said the two-story house will provide new space for reading groups and to hold workshops. She plans to expand some special sections, such as new age books.

“We’re starting a singles reading group and a new age reading group. We’ll be able to offer a little more progressive reading materials,” Gower said. She said a secluded area will be set aside where psychics can come in and offer readings in private.

“Having our own entrance is important. At the mall, we were subject to the passing mob and had to close at a specific time,” she said. “I’m looking forward to being able to stay open late starting in the spring, when it stays light in the evenings.

“We’ve got a beautiful yard, so we’ll have tables outside where readers can sip tea or coffee, too.”

Gower had worked for seven years at the store before buying the store from the Kennedy family four years ago. She said all four of her staffers are moving to the 108 E. John St. location with her. She said the staff will increase some when she expands hours this spring.