‘Community’ is more than just a bookstore

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Along this stretch of Bayou Road has sprung up a small corridor of commerce.  Anchoring this stretch is a place of discovery, history, and great literary works.  It is also a place of community.

For Vera Warren-Williams, this all began out of necessity. “Community Book Center was started in 1983 when I was a substitute teacher. And it was designed as a home-based, community service, where I wanted to present to the majority African American children that I found in the schools books and other educational materials with positive images of themselves,” says Warren-Williams

Over 30 years and 3 locations later, Community Book Center remains that place to find books and educational material for children, with an array of hard-to-find pieces.  There are books for everyone at Community and a different feel than most bookstores.

CBC customer Lydia Nichols says, “The feel of most books stores is that you’re supposed to be quiet, and peacefully meander through the aisles, without bumping into anyone or distracting anyone’s search, so there’s a soul here.”

The challenge of operating a stand-alone bookstore in today’s digital world has proven to be significant for CBC.  Warren-Williams says they’re more than just a book store, offering a host of complimentary items for customers, but also as a gathering place for meetings, and events.  A true community center!

“We have a very spacious location, and it used to be filled with books, but the footprint of books are shrinking, we’ve learned that because people like to congregate here, we have professors and other organizations that host functions and events here,” says Warren-Williams.

The Community Book Center is located at 2523 Bayou Road