Book talk: Starting a new chapter

In March 2021, the former Books & Books at Camana Bay started the next chapter of its history under a fitting new name: Next Chapter.

My first job was at Books & Books, starting in June 2012 when I was 16 years old. I worked on and off at the store until the year I turned 21.

It was a place that held magic, with new adventures arriving every month through New York Times bestsellers or cookbooks showcasing cuisine from faraway lands. It was a place where anything was possible on the pages of its many books.

It was also a place where I met my first (and second) boyfriend, celebrated my high school graduation with my colleagues, mourned losses and rejoiced over occasions like my acceptance into law school.

It was a place that was the catalyst for each chapter in my life.

It is my favourite place in the whole world.

Books & Books was more than just books and books. It was a place where memories were made, smiles were given, songs were sung and knowledge was shared.

Next Chapter's product line has expanded, but it's still a book store. Photo: Bobby Hulse

From the moment it opened in 2007, Books & Books became a hub of the Camana Bay community and beyond, a place where people could come to celebrate and be celebrated whether through holiday gifts or a thoughtful card. Even though it's no longer called Books & Books, it's still a place of magic and possibility. It still is home to events like book club meetings, storytelling and craft making for children, poetry slams, author signings and more. The rebranding to Next Chapter has not changed the heart of this special place that still holds the same familiarity and comfort that the people of Grand Cayman have come to know and love.

With its new name has come a new look, and not only in its visual brand. One only has to look at the window display from the Paseo, the entrance foyer, the area around the cash register, or in any of the store's rooms, to see that Next Chapter still considers books to be a vital part of its merchandise offerings.

As a former — and forever — bookseller whose working chapter of life started in that wonderful place — I can’t wait to see how this Next Chapter unfolds.

This article first appeared in the May 2021 print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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About the author

Alanna Warwick-Smith is a senior marketing communications coordinator supporting the business development and real estate marketing team for Dart. Alanna has worked in Dart’s flagship development of Camana Bay for the past nine years, when she began her career working at the town’s bookstore. A lover of the written word, Alanna reads and writes poetry in her spare time, and has written content for a range of platforms in the past, including her own blog and Camana Bay Times. You can find her in line at Foster’s every morning waiting for her large iced coffee with oat milk!

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