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Prospero's marks a quarter century as 39th Street's bookstore

Courtesy of Prospero's Books & Media

The idea for the beloved and iconic bookstore was "birthed on a bar stool less than 50 feet from its front door."

Prospero's Books & Media is housed in a brick building with wooden floors and tin ceilings at the corner of 39th Street and Bell Street. A store that started with an inventory of 5,600 books 25 years ago now houses 50,000 titles including vinyl, CDs and film.

Co-owner Tom Wayne said it only took several years before Prospero's held 20,000 books. "Most of our inventory walks in the door. People bring it in," Wayne said.

Prospero's is the only bookstore left in town that will buy, sell or offer trades on books brought into the store, said co-founder Will Leatham.

"You can bring in an armload of books and walk out with half an armload and you can't do that anywhere else," he said.

  • Will Leatham, co-founder and co-owner, Prospero's Books & Media
  • Tom Wayne, co-owner, Prospero's Books & Media
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