Fables Books: Goshen's Truly Independent Bookstore

Group Opening New Independent Bookstore in Wake of Better World’s Closing

April 26, 2019

With the abrupt closure of Better World Books, several local community members moved quickly from shock to action.

Within 72 hours after the closure was announced, Jenny Frech and Brad Weirich had a plan on the back of a napkin for a new bookstore.

“We quickly brought together a group of close friends to check in for support. The initial response was overwhelming,” said Frech.

As the planning process continued, team members were added. Veronica Berkey, Kristin Saner, Jenny Frech, and Brad Weirich are primary owners. Mark Saner and Jeremy Friesen are partial owners.

The team is strong and brings retail and book experience to the endeavor. Weirich and Berkey were instrumental in setting up and running the initial Better World Books store. Kristin Saner worked at Better World Books as an assistant manager, and Frech founded and runs Soapy Gnome. They all call Goshen home.

The new bookshop, Fables, will be located on Main Street in the same location as the former Better World Books.

“Even though the bookshop will be in the same location, we are starting from square one. We did not purchase the business, customer lists, or inventory from Better World Books, though we are working to purchase the fixtures,” said Weirich.

The group estimates startup costs around $90,000 and will be seeking help from the community.

“We will be accepting donations of gently used books to help lower the startup costs,“ said Friesen.  Book donations will be accepted at Soapy Gnome during regular business hours until the new shop opens in late summer, each box donated will earn a coupon to the new shop.

In addition, the group will be running a crowdfunding campaign at the end of May and applying for a Small Business Loan.

“The new bookshop will focus on high quality used and new books - especially curated to bring to the community what you’re looking for, and what you didn’t know to look for! We know that you love to read, and we love to connect you with great stories of all kinds. Plus, we’ll stock fun literary gifts, and stationery,” said Berkey.

Used books will be the primary category with a focus on what Goshen’s reading. The bookshop will be a reflection of the community.

“Literacy for everyone and community connection through stories are at our core,” said Berkey. “We plan to create space for literary and community events, as well as some events like book signings and children’s story times.”

Even the name, Fables, was chosen to represent what stories mean to the community. Everyone, young and old, from any country, any religious background, is familiar with the stories we tell through fables. Shared stories bring the community closer together.

Fables will open late summer 2019. For more details, follow Fables Bookshop on Instagram @fablesbookshop, Twitter @fablesbookshop and Facebook, visit their website to sign up for emails and for more details on how to be a part of the exciting new venture for downtown.

Said Kristin Saner, “this is a dream come true.”