Chapter One bookstore resists pandemic


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The owners of ChapterOne bookstore, Mara Luther and Shawn Wathen receive new books through the inventory software. “We do all things together, however we have our own objectives,” Wathen said. “Mara is the one with the responsibility of purchasing for the other things and we also clean computers, books computers and telephones. Three employees are employed by us. They are part-time workers and are able to pick between weekends and weekdays off.

By MarnieCraig

The year 1994 was the year of the idea of creating a book club was first established . They carried handcarts on their backs, as well as a solid shelves and bookshelves which were stacked up to MainStreet in Hamilton to the entrance of the store, which was at the corner between Main Third and ThirdStreets and where Chapter One was situated. Chapter One is a bookstore that has been operating since 1996. It can stand up to the rising popularity caused by Barnes & Noble, and the connection to The GreatRecession and a pandemic.

The virus has begun to accumulate on shelves of books after the Governor. Bullock closed any business which was not essential to stop the spread of COVID-19 the weekend. The owners of the bookshop, and staff members Mara Lyn Luther and Shawn Wathen were in charge of the shop when it first opened. The store is marked with signage that states that just 10 people are allowed to enter the store at any given moment.


“We’ll apply duct tape to the floor to show how six feet look, and as well as regular cleaning procedures,” Luther said. “We’ll also offer curbside collection. 

the days when stores were open till their closing time was among the top days during the time frame. The crowds were well-off and helped the store prior to close.

“It was similar to the sound of an alarm” Luther said. “We weren’t able to kiss and all were crying at the sight of the eyelashes. This was scary. We weren’t sure what the significance of “temporary” was or our worldview. How can we get through this?

“We shut all of our gates for what were hoping would be a 2 week time frame but either of us believed it would last for two months” Wathen said. “When we closed our doors we were not sure if they would reopen for businesses. 

Hand-made signage made of white and black, with an old-fashioned font hang on the ceiling to display the various kinds of books Luther and Wathen have carefully selected over the decades. The shop is brimming with books, but it’s but not all that shoppers will find within. Waten as well as Luther are currently in the process of encouraging conversations by providing the items customers are looking for. “We want our customers to understand that we’re their shop and we’d like to be a part in conversations that they have about us,” explained Luther.

She explained that it’s the recommendations for books as well as human-to-human interactions that attract customers. Owners appreciate conversations as art and are eager to participate in book discussions in their conversations with customers. “We can discuss books all day, which is reasons why we’re in this area,” Luthersaid. “We talk about the books we offer to our clients, and then continue to talk about the books as they leave. 

ShawnWathen is the cornerstone of the novel’s opening chapter. “Mara myself and I were in a chat recently about the many people that came into our lives but leave at the other side of the spectrum,” he said. “On the very first day I arrived at this place I began an exchange of thoughts about DavidPerry, and the conversation has continued for the next 8years, until the time of his death.” passing.

Wathen explained that the initial chapter is a narrative that focuses on the characters who are present and create bonds are the protagonists of the tale. “We make and share the stories are told about the community,” the author said. “You are not able to do that online.. This is part of the bookshop’s tale of how it’s an integral component to the larger society. The bookshops aid in understanding the power of language to express concepts and ideas, to become a an integral part of the conversation. 

Wathen started his career at Chapter 1 in the year 1996 due to the fact that Chapter One was in desperate need of help and its employees were starving. Along with his wife Laura returned toMontana after a period of living in Poland and Paris. The owners of the bookshop Jean Matthews and Russ Lawrence were worried about the possibility of them to be given the honorary degree of doctor. Eastern and Central European intellectual history students would not be able to remain for long in their tiny town-sized bookshop. This is that they only asked for 6months. After that, Wathen was gotten hooked – He became active in the community. In the span of five years the partnership was established in the year 2009, the year in which Wathen bought the business he had started on his own. “I believed that there was nothing I could do to drive me to operate this business,”” the business owner stated. “But it’s evident that there’s something special about these pieces of work. 

The father of his son was Wathen Brendan shared the story of growing up with books and reading was a major part of his day-to-day routine. “When when I was child, I often had lunch in the library at theschool I attended,” the boy told me. “I was up until midnight reading as my mom and dad kept insisting that I take my books from the tables. ‘.> 

Brendan has written a book during highschool. After graduating, he was on the move around the world and written a novel in Morocco. He was living in Eugene, Washington, and is an author who has published. He understood how important the role of the bookshop for the general public because of his parents, invited them to dinner together. “The bookstore was the catalyst that brought them all to one another regardless of whether they have worked in the shop, were customers of the proprietors , or simply enjoyed reading and would frequent the shop,” he said. He says. “I frequented numerous shops and, though I admit that I am biased, I have yet to observe a resemblance. 

MaraLuther stands behind her desk, which is filled by the latest books. She makes use of Facebook tokeep her bookshop operating amid the chaos. She has posted on “Daily Explore” with the most loved books that she believes are worth reading, as well as recording herself reading for children during the storytime each Friday. Photo taken by MarnieCraig.

Luther began her work with Chapter One at the age of five as she loved reading. In 2010, she signed her first contract her deal was signed 2010, withWathen. “If you thought I was going to work in the publishing industry , I would have attended the school system,” she said. “Shawn was sharpand an friendly and open-minded, someone who was able to facilitate my journey to succeed. 

MikaelaSkyeDowning walks around with her feet in The EarthDay photo she sketched as her mother is opening the boxes to get books. She’s waiting eagerly for the 3rd book in the Amulet series. It’s illustrated and tells the story of a girl who has no pretense that stumbles across an amulet with strange powers in the home of her grandfather. Photography taken by MarnieCraig.

A daughter of Luther’s Mikaela was born in an independent bookshop in the area when she was a tiny child. “She was adept at choosing the best books to handle and then taking those she liked out of the shelves and covering herself in them” Luther said. “Today she’s 6yrs. old and 8yrs. old and she’s a huge lover of comics. She can recognize words and phrases.

BeckyBoykin is a longtime ChapterOne customer. She’s an active part of in”the SaturdayMorning BookClub that is run by Luther each month. Participants are given the opportunity to discuss books, and then have an hour of discussion with authors. The event brought her to books on translating as well as EasternEuropean literature while she was attending the lectures of Wathen at the library’s premises. This is The Bitterroot Library. “I am getting a lot of knowledge,” she says. “There were books that I would not have been able to read without the lectures. 

She was part of”the “book bar”. “It started with the Silver Coin Casino however, since it was hard for players to access casinos, the owners moved it to TacoDelSol,” she told me. “They also put chairs and tables in the shop to ensure that I could be able to gamble regardless of my handicap. 

It’s been in operation in the internet’s world for more than a quarter of a century however, the majority of people aren’t aware of the process. The only intangibles accessible online include recommendations for books and talks with authors, signing autographs by authors, launch events to celebrate the release as well as other presentations. Wathen stated that’s one reason why increasing the popularity of the book store increasing.

“This is only one of the many possibilities Jean and Russ were thinking of when they made the choice to relocate their business onto MainStreet,” he explained. “They wanted to transform it into an open space for the local community that was an integral aspect of downtown. It wasn’t for only the purpose of selling books, but also to let patrons be at ease in the face of opposing views. If the residents in the community are content with us being there and are satisfied with our work and the work we’re doing, then you’ll be in good shape. 


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