Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Ernest & Hadley Booksellers aims to strengthen Tuscaloosa’s reading community

Courtesy of Earnest and Hadley
The business of Earnest and Hadley Booksellers is located on 1928 7th Street in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Readers of all ages can get involved with Ernest & Hadley Booksellers, Tuscaloosa’s own independent and woman-owned bookstore. This summer, the community can participate in the bookstore’s book clubs and book signings, and can expect to see more events coming this fall. 

Who: Tuscaloosa residents and visitors. 

What: Upcoming events.  

When: Summer and fall 2023. 

Where: Downtown Tuscaloosa, Seventh Street.  

Why: To strengthen the reading community and provide fun, collaborative experiences. 

Ernest & Hadley Booksellers, found in downtown Tuscaloosa on Seventh Street, sells a variety of genres including contemporary, classics, fiction and nonfiction. The bookstore holds various events each month and welcomes readers to get involved in the community.  

Recently, the store opened its “Big Pride Little Library” and held an event to commemorate the library’s introduction.  

The Little Library allows visitors to borrow and donate books for free, with this one focusing particularly on “representative books.”  

The event included community members painting the little library, enjoying food and conversation and reading poems by queer authors.  

“We want it to be a resource for queer teens and young adults in the area to be able to find books with representation,” said Erika Walsh, the bookstore’s social media and event coordinator. “It’s very much a collaborative community effort.” 

On its website, Ernest & Hadley has a list of recommended books visitors can donate to the little library. The list includes nonfiction, adult fiction and more, but mainly focuses on young adult fiction.  

“It is really geared more towards stuff teens would be interested in reading,” Walsh said.  

Walsh said the bookstore is focusing on bringing in younger people to be involved in the community. There are many upcoming events that local readers and incoming students can look forward to.  

Ernest & Hadley Booksellers’ main events include book talks and signings in the store, where authors will share details of their writing process, participate in Q&As, and discuss their latest release. 

The book clubs at Ernest & Hadley are held about once a month, usually over Zoom. Walsh said the book clubs tend to feature local authors, or those with a relationship to the bookstore.  

This month, the bookstore is holding a virtual book club meeting for the second book in the “Blanchard Witches” series by Micah House. The event, which requires anyone interested to register beforehand, will have the author present on July 20, according to the store’s website 

If you are looking to shop, the store is holding a “tax-free weekend” on July 21 and 22 where all Ernest & Hadley’s books under thirty dollars will be tax-free.  

According to the store’s website, upcoming book talks and signings include Mark and Laura Steltenpohl discussing their newest book “Roadside Geology of Alabama on Aug. 22. Four days later, the bookstore will be welcoming Joe Taylor, the author of “Highway 28 West,” for a book talk and signing on Aug. 26. 

The store also has a used book annex, which is always accepting barcoded used trade-ins for store credit or contribution. Walsh said visitors are always welcome to hang out, sit, read and mingle.  

“We want to be a safe, open, loving space for everyone in the community,” Walsh said.  

Walsh said the bookstore aims to hold more community-based events that are not necessarily just book related. 

Ernest & Hadley Booksellers commonly collaborates with Druid City Pride, a nonprofit organization that supports Alabama’s LGBTQ+ community and its allies. Walsh mentioned there are more collaborations with Druid City Pride to come that students can look out for, including a back-to-school spoken-word poetry night where attendees can share their poems.

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