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Jackson community coming together to keep local bookstore afloat

Posted at 9:43 AM, Nov 30, 2022

JACKSON, Mich. — The Book Cottage has been a Jackson staple for almost a decade but could now be in its final chapters.

Owner Nancy Oakley loves books and turned that passion into action.

“My husband suggested a bookstore, which I thought was kind of insane,” she said.

They did some research and opened a tiny 600-square-foot place on Horton Road.

“It just took off from there,” she said.

While the business grew through the years, things started to change when they had to move off the beaten path. And then, the pandemic hit.

“We were closed for 15 weeks completely,” Nancy said. “We did some deliveries. We did curbside. But, it’s not the same thing at all.”

And it crushed their finances.

“A lot of people didn’t go out at all during that 15 weeks,” Nancy said. “Even after we reopened we could only open at 25 percent so that was hard as well because that was at Christmas and we can only have 25 percent through the door. A lot of our people are older or have families and they just didn’t get out.”

Now, if they don’t get a change of fortune by the end of the year, they’ll close.

Loyal patrons say it would be tough to turn the page on this beloved store.

“They know our names. They treat us like family. Have never been treated so nice and everything and very patient,” Molly Best said.

And that’s why many people believe the store is worth saving.

The community stepped in and created a GoFundMe to raise close to $20,000 for the Oakley’s.

“It’s priceless. It really helps the community,” Best said.

It’s a gesture they aren’t taking for granted.

“It’s much easier to work harder than it is to ask for help, but I was very heartened by the fact that so many people care and want to help,” Oakley said.

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