J&M Books and Play Uses Grant to Complete Success Story | News, Sports, Jobs
PARKERSBURG – From Stephen King and Nicholas Sparks to puzzles, card games, board games and dice, J&M Books and Play continues to expand its inventory and shopping space so people can “Put the phone down and have fun.” “
To encourage reading and board games, J&M Books and Play recently received a $ 10,000 grant to expand its inventory and create more events for repeat and new customers.
The grant comes from the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, an organization whose mission is to support bookstores and comic book stores.
To help bookstores recover from the pandemic, the BIC Foundation raised $ 1.1 million and awarded grants to 115 stores, but J&M Books and Play was the only store in West Virginia to receive one of the grants. .
Owner Jason McCrady said the money would be used to beautify the store and create new inventory.
“With our event center in the back no one has used it in years and all the lights have gone out, we need all the new lights” he said. “(We will also) pay off the debt we incurred during the pandemic. “
Two rooms that were previously used as storage will soon house children’s books and puzzles. J&M Books and Play was once proud of used books, but with this additional funding McCrady said the store would expand its selection of new titles, especially manga and young adult books.
“(We) will continue to expand this, as long as people keep buying books,” he said. “We plan to make new book orders every week, we can get them in a week. I’m really excited to see what happened with the new books.
Not only does the store have a great selection and variety of books and games, but it also has an escape room which opened last winter.
The room is laid out as a doomsday prep shed with full backstory and theme.
“We had some teenagers and a bunch of parents and one of the teenagers said they had to think they were in a store and not in a shed, we really tried to do it on the theme,” McCrady said.
A second escape room is in the planning stages and McCrady is hoping it will open by the end of the year.
On August 7, J&M Books and Play will host a local business scavenger hunt, Trekking the MOV, with puzzles that will lead participants to local businesses and prizes will be awarded. Some of the prizes will include a board game for the winning team, gift cards from local businesses, and escape tickets.
“My manager tried to come up with the idea of helping small businesses” McCrady said. “The point is for everyone (to have fun), we are trying to get the word out.”
Teams can be as small as one but no more than four people. To register, go to bookeo.com/jandmbook and play. The registration deadline is August 1st.
When planning future events and expansions, McCrady is grateful for the grant award and the local clients who helped grow the business.
“Glory to God alone. There is no way we could have done this without God with everything that has happened. We opened right at the end of the Great Recession, survived COVID and moved three times, it’s just amazing ”, McCrady said.
Candice Black can be contacted at [email protected]