The Copper Bell Bookshop opened its doors to the Ridgefield community on Oct. 1 to the delight of many bibliophiles.
Debra and Paul Warnock opened the store because of their love for literature.
“I’ve just been a lifelong reader and lover of books,” Debra said.
Debra, who was a realtor for 35 years, was looking to do something with her “second stage in life.” She had long dreamed about opening a bookstore and being surrounded by books.
She said the couple almost backed out of their business idea when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but later resumed their dream of opening the store. The process of getting the store off the ground has been “pretty crazy,” Debra said.
“I’ve technically been planning it for almost 10 years. In the beginning, it was more like dreaming about it and kind of laying out what I would do, and then when I just kept getting more serious about it,” she said. “I joined the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association as a prospective bookseller and actually did that for three years as we were trying to pull everything together and get a location.”
To help garner inspiration, Debra said she drove to every bookstore in the area she could think of. Since Paul owns the company Pro Craft Home Remodeling, Debra said he was able to lend his expertise to help bring her idea to life.
She noted there are not many independent bookstores in the area. She wanted to create a warm, comfortable, and welcoming atmosphere with her new business. Debra also plans to be deeply involved with the community.
“We kind of want to be just this nice comfortable place that people can come in and visit and shop and talk books,” she said. “I think it’s just going to give the community a little place to go to, so I’m hoping that’ll make it stand out.”
In terms of books, Debra is currently reading the Chief Inspector Gamache Series by Louise Penny. Overall, she enjoys mystery, romance, young adult and nonfiction novels, she said.
Since the Warnocks have a five-year lease on the building, Debra said they plan to continually build on the community activities they offer.
“We’re wanting to gradually bring in book clubs to come and visit us and purchase their books here, and they can even have their book club meetings here,” she said. “And then we’re wanting to have several book clubs of our own. We’re looking forward to having a morning reading for little children.”
Besides that, she said they plan to coordinate with local restaurants and wineries for future events.
“Our goal is to keep building the community involvement and our level of events that we offer. Eventually, we’re going to start with local authors and then we’re … hoping to have events focusing on their books and gradually build up to where we get some out of the area authors to do readings and book signings,” Debra said.
Copper Bell Bookshop is located at 4315A S. Settler Drive, Suite 110, Ridgefield. They can be reached at 360-727-3151.