Prologue Used and Rare Books, a sister storefront adjacent to Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews, hosted its preview party on Saturday.
Although not the store’s grand opening, the preview allowed customers to browse Prologue’s collection of used and rare books.
In addition to its large collection of books, Prologue offers a reading counter, a dozen tables near the windows at the front of the store, and sofas towards the middle.
“First of all, thank you for the support so far,” owner Jaime Sanchez said at the event. “Secondly, I’m so sorry that it took so long to open up to this community that encourages us. Thank you. If it wasn’t for all of you, I would have broken down long ago and curled up in a corner.
Because Epilogue is constantly busy with customers, Sanchez decided to expand in 2021.
Taylor Heeden, a recent UNC graduate who returned to Chapel Hill for the soft opening, was reading her recently purchased book “Wicked” on a bench next to a bookshelf during the event.
“This place is amazing, and the energy here is so nice, and it’s just a big extension of a big space that already exists,” she said.
Gaby Iori, Events Coordinator at Epilogue, said she was thrilled to open the space after a year of planning. She said that Prologue will have a big opening in the future.
“This is a soft open for people who want to check out our collection of used and rare books, check out the Randall Kenan collection, and generally get a feel and feel for the space,” he said. she declared.
A large portion of Prologue’s rare book collection is made up of the Randall Kenan Collection. The collection belonged to author and former UNC professor Randall Kenan.
After Kenan passed away on August 28, 2020, his family donated over 8,000 books from their collection to Prologue, which was still under construction at the time.
Sanchez said the donation was “a great blessing amidst the chaos” of the Prologue opener.
He said the donation reaffirms his belief that the Epilogue and Prologue are needed by the community, and he pledged to continue working as hard as possible to continue supporting the community.
“It was a beautiful gift – a cosmic gift, you know, in a way, he told us, ‘Keep going, you’re on the right track. People are going to support you,'” he said.
Lori said Prologue is grateful for the Randall Kenan collection, which spans multiple genres.
She said the store accepts used books from community members to build up the rest of the collection.
“The rest of our collection is anything the community has brought in and wanted to redeem us for store credit,” Lori said. “We’re really, really happy with everything we’ve come across.”
Prologue will offer more space for Epilogue customers – as well as more books, especially those that are used or rare.
Sanchez said the store’s used and rare collections cater to marginalized communities and the store only takes books that reflect its values.
“We’re always looking to make sure we’re amplifying marginalized voices,” he said. “You’re going to see a lot of selections that amplify women, minorities, the LGBTQIA+ community because we’ve been so underrepresented for so long.”
Sanchez added that her Latino ancestry and immigrant background influenced the store and book selection, referring to Epilogue as a microcosm of her family.
“It’s my family,” he said. “And I bring you my family.”
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