by Henry Netherland
Mail Staff Writer
John Cameron recently became the new owner of The Book Haven, 109 N. F St.
He purchased the store from Jessie Smith, who ran the shop for a little less than two years.
Cameron hosted a soft opening Jan. 31 and said he expects to have a grand opening in March around spring break.
Cameron and Smith began discussing transferring ownership around Thanksgiving. He said the change in ownership now is ideal because activity tends be slower before picking up in spring and summer.
Cameron said owning and running a bookstore has been his goal for a long time.
“Moving into the bookstore is kind of a way to bring it all together for me,” Cameron said. “The purpose of the bookstore is to try to engage readers and engage writers and engage that community of people through books.”
After graduating with an English degree in 2008 from Tarleton State University in Texas, Cameron took on freelance journalism jobs, including having a column at The Mountain Mail. He also worked for a time as a reporter for The Mail.
He and his wife moved to Salida in 2014 from Park City, Utah. They moved because they wanted to live closer to the Front Range, where they had family.
Cameron said they vaguely remembered visiting Salida about 12 years ago when they were hiking the Colorado Trail.
The Book Haven offers a selection of new and used books. Cameron said he chooses books he thinks would be interesting to the widest number of people. He especially likes to offer maps and trail guides as well as books on environmental issues and overall outdoor-centric topics.
When it comes to purchasing books for inventory, Cameron said he will buy used books in good condition in bulk, but he will not purchase individual titles. If someone wants to sell used books, he recommends contacting him ahead of time to schedule a meeting where he can make an offer.
The store takes special orders. It also has an online shop that ships products directly to customers. He said he has access to publishers where he can get fair market prices for new books.
In the future, Cameron hopes to bring more authors to the store to discuss their work. He also hopes to host weekly Thursday night events like a writing group, a poetry night and a kids’ storytime.
Cameron said the best way to keep up to date with new titles and store events is to follow The Book Haven on Instagram @salidabooks.
The store is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. except for Sunday, when it is open until 5 p.m., and Tuesday, when it is closed.