Alamosa Books: Three Months In

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Elizabeth and Sean Anker opened their children’s bookstore in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on April 3. Alamosa Books fills kids’ picture book and reading needs from infancy through their late teens. “We have anything a teenager or younger is going to need or want to read,” said Elizabeth Anker.

Before opening Alamosa, Elizabeth Anker had worked both as a teacher and a bookseller. “I had been working in elementary education, was an educator at the college level,” she said. “But I always worked at bookstores part time.”

Anker was working at Page One Bookstore as the children’s manager and events coordinator when she decided to open her own store. Her husband, Sean Anker, is director of operations at a local TV station and works part time at the store.

The 3,780-square-foot store children’s bookstore “probably has the best science section in the world,” said Anker, adding that she loves teaching science. The bookstore will soon be selling directly to area schools, and offers a 20 percent discount to educators and to parents who home-school their children. For browsing parents and teenagers, Alamosa is expanding its inventory of adult fiction and nonfiction.

The bookstore has partnered with a neighboring coffee shop, which provides coffee carafes for its events, and customers are encouraged to buy their coffee next door and bring it back to browse the bookstore's shelves.

For Alamosa’s grand opening, local TV anchor Carla Aragon visited to read from her children's book, Dance of the Eggshells: Baile De Los Cascarones (University of New Mexico Press), about a traditional Spanish dance using eggs that have been emptied and then been filled with confetti. “She came here and did the dance,” said Anker.

Evaluating Alamosa's first three months in business, Anker said, “We’re getting there. Probably 90 percent of the people who walk in the store walk out with something. I don’t think I’ve seen that anywhere else.”