A Novel Idea: Newlyweds Bring a Niche Philly-based Bookstore to the Lit Community
Tianna G. Hansen // Rhythm & Bones Press
Christina Rosso & Alexander Schneider // A Novel Idea
Christina Rosso & Alexander Schneider
Tianna G. Hansen: First off, I must thank you both for allowing my small press to hold our first (and your first!) event at A Novel Idea. It’s so exciting to be able to know I’m in good hands and to launch such an important piece of work with you. So, let’s jump right in and learn more about this brand-new bookstore. How did you two first think of A Novel Idea?
Christina Rosso & Alexander Schneider: Thank you for letting us host this amazing event at our store! We can’t wait for it. And thank you for interviewing us. :)
The idea for A Novel Idea started as a joke. Christina always dreamed of owning and working in a bookstore, but never thought it would become reality. One night Alexander said let’s open a bookstore in jest, and the more we thought about it, the more we realized it could be a great opportunity to do something together and give our neighborhood a type of retail it’s been missing.
TGH: I’ve seen a lot of posts on your Instagram about the renovation process and floor plans for A Novel Idea. Did you both do all the renovations yourself? What is your shared vision for the place?
CR&AS: We did initial demolition and then passed it onto local professionals. Alexander’s mom, a long time interior designer, helped us development a floor plan and vision for the space. The renovations are still underway--we’ve learned that nothing stays on schedule--but hopefully will be done very soon!
We hope to create a place that encourages education and inspiration while supporting local artists and fostering community.
TGH: I know you also have another event after our book launch scheduled for the next weekend with Nick Gregorio, another fellow Arcadia alum, for his second book. Do you plan to have many events at A Novel Idea?
CR&AS: Oh, yeah. As many as humanly possible. We are hoping that events will be the backbone of A Novel Idea. We’re in the process of coming up with some holiday events, as well as talking to local artists about partnerships for the winter/spring. One thing underway is a few writing classes hosted by Blue Stoop running January-March, so keep an eye out for updates!
Christina is really excited about events at A Novel Idea because of her writing and teaching background. She did her MA in English and MFA in Creative Writing at Arcadia and has been teaching writing at several colleges and at Mighty Writers the past three years. Not only is she thrilled to have others host writing-based events at the shop, but she’s planning to run a writing group and several workshops.
TGH: How should interested parties contact you for planning these events, and what are you most looking to host?
CR&AS: Filling out our event request form is the best way to get in touch about events. We want to host book launchings, book signings, reading series, workshops, writing groups, book clubs, and even things like game nights.
TGH: What do you hope to cultivate here most? (i.e. goals, hopes for the future, community vision (who you hope to bring in), etc.)
CR&AS: More than anything, we hope to cultivate community. We want our customers to get know us and hope that we can all grow together. We hope to bring in patrons of all ages and backgrounds, and want to help our customers fall in love with books, either for the first time or the millionth.