COLUMBIA, S.C. — Columbia will soon get an independent book store when Odd Bird Books opens in the Arcade Mall on Main Street.
Benjamin Adams plans to open the doors on February 1, 2020, to Columbia's only independent, general interest book store since The Happy Bookseller closed in 2008.
Adams grew up in Columbia's Elmwood neighborhood and most recently worked at Blue Bicycle Books in Charleston. While doing a pop-up event for Blue Bicycle at USC's Deckle Edge Literary Festival in Columbia, Adams says he found an untapped market for books in the city.
He moved back to Columbia and began Odd Bird Books at Soda City Market in November 2019.
After some encouraging conversations with customers and friends, Adams began searching for a brick-and-mortar site on Main Street.
"I was impressed with the changes happening on Main Street," he says, and knew that's where he would like to locate his business.
Some of the spots Adams looked at would not be available for months. The space on the Main Street side in Arcade Mall happened to open up at the right time.
Odd Bird's selections won't be based on the big box bookseller models of Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million.
The relatively small space -- around 500 square feet -- will carry a very deliberately curated selection of books, says Adams.
"There will be a LOT of books," he says, including recent releases, books that have garnered media interest, and topics that Adams finds interesting.
Adams would like to continue Odd Bird pop-up events at literary festivals and Richland Library.
Although the business hours may be subject to change, Adams plans to open Odd Bird Books 10 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday beginning Feb. 1.