August 9, 2017
When book lovers around the country celebrated Independent Bookstore Day, our Buckley staff—all avid readers—started making their own lists. One by one, we’re sharing those, and if you’ve got a list of favorites you care to send us, we’d love to share that too.
As our staff has been weighing in on their favorite bookstores, we’ve talked about famous bookstores, exotic bookstores and those that specialize in particular genres.
“My favorite bookstore is, of course, Books on Broad in Camden.”– -Buckley seminar manager Pam Schreiner
Our opinions and experiences are diverse, no surprise there. Still, there’s one bookstore that made everyone’s list: Books on Broad in The Buckley School's home base of Camden, S.C.
What makes this store a favorite for everyone? Hometown pride, sure. But that might be the least of it. Books on Broad represents what an independent bookstore can do for a community.
First of all, it’s a good bookstore. You’ll always find a mix of popular choices, work by local authors, books for people of every age--and a staff that knows their stuff and can recommend a good read.
It’s also a community hub. The store hosts events. It brings writers to town. It promotes reading.
And, not to be overlooked, there’s the coffee and WiFi. In a bigger town, those might not be as key. But in sweet little Camden, it’s a real plus to have a spot where you can enjoy working, meeting others, or just hanging out to read.
"As for favorite bookstores, I'm sure you will include a reference or two to our little independent bookstore here, won't you? I love that place.”– Karen Kalutz, Buckley School director
The bookstore’s owners make for a good story, too. Laurie Funderburk, born in Camden, is a member of the South Carolina legislature, representing her hometown in the House of Representatives since 2005. Co-owner Bill Funderburk, Laurie’s husband, is a retired attorney and English professor. He’s also a lifelong lover and collector of books.
Lest you think only locals know and treasure their Books on Broad, we offer this anecdote. On a trip through Richmond, faculty Jenny Maxwell dropped by Fountain Bookstore, an independent there. As soon as the staff learned Jenny lived in South Carolina, they asked: Have you been to Books on Broad in Camden? Don’t you love that store?
Why, yes. Yes, we do.