Mission Statement

The heart of a neighborhood

Mission Statement/Philosophy

Pagination Bookshop believes in the power of literature and literacy to change lives and wishes to serve the Springfield and surrounding areas with a real, physical space in which reading, writing, and meaningful interactions about creativity can happen. Here, the book selection is curated by real people for real readers we know and with whom we share a community. We aim each month to 1) facilitate a book club with a carefully curated book selection mindful of diversity in genre, form, subject matter, and authorship; 2) host and facilitate a poetry discussion and open mic night for local writers and readers to convene and share art in progress; 3) host a visiting guest author, artist, or creative professional to promote literacy and creative activity; and 4) provide a venue space for a community organization.

Pagination Bookshop believes black lives matter. We believe in defending civil rights, the environment, social justice, health and wellness, and the arts and humanities. We believe in the power of story and narrative. We believe literature can change the world.

Pagination Bookshop is dedicated to partnering with other local artists and small businesses. Our logo was designed by local artist and MSU professor Cole Closser, and muraling inside the store was completed by local artist Ariel Messerrer. Our cards are designed by local artists Doug Erb and Ariel Messerer, and much of our furniture and décor was purchased from local antique shop Cricket in the House, which sources products from local artists.

Pagination Bookshop seeks to provide its customers with the magic of the browse; we carry books that may not necessarily top the Best Sellers list, but represent important emerging work from new writers, featuring diverse voices, written in exciting forms, from independent presses that may not be otherwise in our customers’ awareness. We carry unique books that appeal to our sense of beauty and narrative power, from classic favorites to brand new releases, from graphic narrative to borrowed forms to chapbooks to pop-ups. We are dedicated to curating a diversity of books by a diversity of authors, and we are proud to carry featured titles in antiracist reading and #metoo for readers of all ages. We are dedicated to carrying work of locally published authors and artists and promoting those authors to our larger independent bookstore network.

Our bookshop is housed in a home; this is meaningful to us, as we want our customers to know Pagination Bookshop as a safe space of belonging where reading, creativity, and discovery can and will happen.

We are proud to have, in under a year, partnered with and supported local organizations such as Community Partnership of the Ozarks, Springfield Public Schools, Me Too Springfield, Abilities First, Springfield Arts Council, Springfield Creatives, Springfield Black Tie, the Ozarks Food Harvest, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and Missouri State University Alumni Association.

Books Are Magic {New York} owner and writer Emma Straub writes, “A neighborhood without a bookstore is like a body without a heart.” We seek to be the strong beating heart within the Historic Walnut Street District and beyond.

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