The third in BTW's series of board candidate profiles features Tom Campbell, of The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, North Carolina, who is up for a second three-year term as a director. Board ballots, e-mailed to ABA main store members on March 22, must be submitted electronically by midnight on April 26.
The Regulator Bookshop was started by a group of friends who thought that Durham needed a bookstore. "At the time," Tom Campbell said, "I was at an in-between stage of my life, having just finished a masters degree in environmental management at Duke, while my wife was still working on her masters degree in nutrition at UNC. I told my friends I could help out getting the store started 'for a few months.'"
Thirty-three years later, Campbell remains co-owner of the bookstore, where he does everything from buying to working the register to paying bills.
Last summer, Campbell worked with members of the Duke University community to create a YouTube video that demonstrates, in fun way, why shopping locally is good for the environment. The video, "Just Around the Corner," has been viewed 22,000 times so far. Campbell has also created the website ebookskeptic.net, which offers a collection of research studies comparing reading on a screen to reading on paper in the areas of memory and comprehension.
"In the bookstore itself over the last year or so," Campbell said, "we've added used books to our mix and increased the amount and variety of sidelines we're carrying, including games, puzzles, puppets, and chocolate."
Regulator's community outreach includes a partnership with the Durham Public Schools Bookmark Project, a book drive that has resulted in hundreds of books being donated to school libraries. The bookstore has also sponsored two food drives for the local food bank over the last year, netting more than 1,400 pounds of food. And it continues to work with the Durham Public Libraries and a number of schools and departments at Duke on author (and authorless) events.
In his current term on the ABA board, Campbell served as chair of the Audit Committee. Prior to becoming a becoming a board member, he was on ABA's Booksellers Advisory Committee.
During a second term on the board, Campbell would like to focus on ABA's ongoing educational efforts. "I hope that going forward the board can spread the word about the continuing advantages of printed books, as well as the advantages of locally owned independent businesses (and bookstores in particular). And I hope the ABA can increase the help it provides member stores in evaluating new and different product mixes (aka sidelines) for their stores." --Karen Schechner