Goose Creek’s VaLinda Miller believes the world would be a better place if more people made time for reading.
Reading improves a person’s ability to focus, stimulates imagination, expands vocabulary, and reduces stress.
“I just want kids to read,” Miller said.
She’s convinced that the world’s youngest people will someday “cure cancer and stop global warming,” if they are encouraged to soak up the knowledge located inside of books.
These are some of the reasons why Miller decided to open her independent book store, Turning Page Bookshop, located at 216 St. James Avenue, Unit F.
Apart from providing access to great reads, Miller also wants to serve the community by creating a gathering place. Her bookshop will offer author signings, poetry readings, poetry slam nights, an internet cafe and space for book clubs to meet. She will serve specialty coffee drinks and biscotti. There is a children’s room and one room dedicated to mystery books.
“I want to be a little bit of everything for the community,” Miller said.
She previously owned a bookshop in Seneca, New York but grew weary of traveling back and forth between the business and her home in Goose Creek. The bookshop endeavor is also secondary to Miller’s career as a fiscal officer for the federal government.
Miller said within 24 hours of closing her bookshop in New York, she saw the space available in Goose Creek.
“I call it divine,” Miller said. “God did this whole thing.”
Miller officially opened the bookshop on Saturday but she is still building on her plans for the business.
“Over the next couple of months I’m going to ask the community what more do they want,” Miller said.
Community members are already reaching out to her on social media, requesting specific books, or suggesting different authors to include into her lineup of signings.
Goose Creek Mayor Greg Habib recently posted on twitter that the city is “proud and thankful” for Miller’s investment in the community.
Turning Page Bookshop is the second African-American owned bookstore in South Carolina, according to the American Booksellers Association. A fact that Miller said would make her grandmother proud.