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Couple brings love of literature to new downtown York book shop

Couple brings love of literature to new downtown York book shop

  • Sarah Timmcke and Chuck Blair are excited to share their love of a good story and a savored moment together at York’s newest book shop, Bound Books.
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On any given Saturday, you will likely find Sarah Timmcke and Chuck Blair snuggled in a sun soaked chair on their porch, surrounded by plants, Sarah with a coffee, Chuck with a tea, absorbed in a book.

For Sarah, it’s likely a mystery or a suck-you-in-don’t-let-you-go novel. For Chuck, it may be a gripping sci-fi fantasy, a quirky comedy, or a how-to on a new topic.

Their mutual love of literature, flora, and savoring slow moments led them to launch Bound Books, which opened April 22 at 21 S. Beaver St. in York.

“We just took our whole life at home with all the things that we like to do and turned it into a business,” Chuck says.

The right space at the right time

Chuck, who has worked in the information technology field for decades, long asked himself what he wanted to do once he was done with the 9-5 grind. Time and again he kept coming back to the same idea—he’d work at or own a bookstore.

When Chuck and Sarah began dating two years ago, they very quickly discovered their mutual love of reading. Chuck took a gander at telling Sarah his bookstore dream and she was immediately on board with one caveat, they should add plants.

So they began toying with the idea of opening a book shop.

As soon as the space on Beaver Street opened up, their friend Elizabeth Bower, who owns Refillism across the street from the book shop, sent them a text.

It was time to decide.

“It was like, OK, are we doing this? Are we not doing this?” Sarah recalls, “and I just looked at him and I was like, are we going to kick ourselves if we don’t do it? Is this going to be one of those things that we regret if we don’t?”

They went all in.

A cozy corner for all

After months of picking colors, painting walls, learning about the publishing industry, and finding the perfect rolling book ladder, Bound Books opened on April 22. 

Entering the new bookstore, customers are greeted by a room-length counter. Flaky flavorful pastries tantalize from glass-topped cake stands. A display of syrups invites guests to craft Italian sodas. Chuck and Sarah’s signature tea and coffee are served in hand-warming mugs. 

Next to the serving counter, an antique potter’s bench hosts house plants and succulents from Heuter’s Greenhouse. Customers can mix and match a plant and a pot.

Through a wide doorway lies the shop’s treasure—thousands of crisp hardbound and paperback books on floor to ceiling shelves. Each full-wall display window is arranged with cozy chairs and side tables so customers can savor a story while they sip.

“If you saw our house and giant bookshelves and plants all over, this is kind of what it looks like,” Sarah says.

Tucked around a back corner is a special room just for young readers, with a kids’ camping tent, makeshift fire, and log pillows. Stunning pop-up books, classic children’s favorites, and vibrant graphic novels line the shelves.

‘Just be’

Chuck and Sarah are excited to host children’s story times, book clubs, yoga, and an array of classes in their new space and hope their customers will want to create their own groups to meet at Bound.

Most of all those, they’re excited to share their love of a good story and a savored moment together.

“I would like for people to just take a minute out of their busy days,” Sarah says, “and be able to sit and just enjoy things for a little bit, and just be.”