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Salamander Books heads to Mt. Vernon

Sometimes bad news for one neighborhood is good news for another. That was the case when Salamander Used Books' owner Michael Cantor announced that the store would be leaving Hampden. But the Hon neighborhoods loss is Mt. Vernon's gain as the shop once located on 36th Street , a.k.a. The Avenue, will take up residence in its new digs at 519 N. Charlest Street on Jan. 10.

Cantor says its nothing personal against Hampden, he just needed more space in which to do more things for his clientele."We're leaving for a bunch for reasons. We needed a larger store. And, Mt. Vernon is a real cultural hub with the Peabody and Walter's and things like that. We do a heavy business in art [books]," he explains.

Hampden has become a well-known destination for its restaurent scene and is "very gift-oriented now, so it's not as happening during the weekday" when Cantor depends on foot traffic to bring shoppers in his store.

"Mt. Vernon has a much higher density of people working during the day and a lunch crowd," he adds.

Business has been good in Hampden, but Cantor says he'd like to bring in additional inventory, showcase more books and also have space to host book signings and other events.

"I'd like to have space for book clubs and other community-related events and activities. Our space was just too tight here. I get asked all the time by local writers and poets if they can have readings or signings and I just don't have the space in Hampden. This new place should be large enough for that. It's about 40 percent larger in terms of the showroom area," Cantor says.

"We really looking forward to the change. We were very happy in Hampden, but feel that this really will be a place that might work out better for us. We're very sorry to leave. Hampden has been very good to us and hopefully Mt. Vernon will allow us to continue to grow in a positive direction."

Source: Michael Cantor, Salamander Used Books
Writer: Walaika Haskins
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