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Greencup Books opens tomorrow

02.7.2008 by André Natta · → 2 Comments

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This Friday, February 8th, at 2 p.m., Birmingham’s newest used bookstore opens its doors to the public. This grand-opening of Greencup Books, located in an old two-story brick building at 105 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd., South (next to Bare Hands Gallery), includes a kick-off event featuring a signing with Tony Crunk and artist Peter Wilm, who will be there at 7 p.m. to promote their book project Stories from Real Life, which is Greencup Books first publishing project.

Owner and publisher Russell Helms says opening a business that published books and art, as well as sell it, is something that he hopes will spur new ideas within the revitalized Southside area.

“It’s all about building community and supporting creativity “at any cost”, says Helms. “If you need a creative boost, just spending half an hour with us should do the trick. Ideas and original thoughts are guaranteed. We have books, books, books, and lots of cool art from Bare Hands Gallery. We exist to spur creativity. People can expect whatever they are looking for, and more!”

Even the store’s name is rooted in the lore of some of the world’s creative elite.

“Greencup is a modern reference to the appearance of a glass of the mysterious greenish concoction known as absinthe,” says Helms. “Absinthe has a history of creativity including being on the drink list of such artists and writers as van Gogh and Hemingway.”

Helms plans to keep Greencup Books open Monday through Friday from 2p.m. – 5 p.m.

“We have an eclectic selection of used and new books,” says Helms. “Everything from nineteenth century classics to romance and even a decent selection of comics. We do have quite a variety of odd bookery, including Hungarian cuisine, a treatise on cockroaches, a history of urology in Egypt, and, for the doomsday set, a copy of the Turner Diaries. We do have books for sale online at amazon.com through an online
seller named MaxWebBuys. If you see one of our books online, come down to the space, purchase it at the online price (often less) and save on shipping.”

Greencup Books won’t just be home to tens of thousands of used books. Helms also plans to offer other events to help spur our community’s creativity.

“Events will include book signings/readings, art exhibits, and lectures,” he says, “All will be open to the public and free of charge. Any donations collected will go toward supporting our free classes.”

That last statement is what sets Greencup Books apart from other bookstores in the area. The free classes. When Helms says he’s going into business to support the local creative scene, he means it. It’s a personal mission that’s driving his new venture and has motivated him to coordinate and fund a series of classes. All designed to promote creativity and learning among adults.

“We are offering free classes in a variety of subjects,” he says.” “Currently lined up are Writing the Memoir, Publish Your Book, and Marxist Feminism. A class in low-stress yoga begins in April ($15 per session). Classes are free, but we hope that folks who attend will turn the gesture back towards us in the form of either volunteer work or buying a book or two. There is a flat nominal $10 fee just to help out with expenses. In addition we counsel anyone interested in publishing their own book. We share the building with Absnth, Inc., which specializes in the design, production, and printing of books, journals, and magazines.”

For more information, you can contact the store via its blog, email (info<at>greencupbooks.com) or call 205.994.0960.

trav blogs regularly at {head}:sub/head, about reading, publishing, books and Birmingham.

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Filed under: 35222 · birmingham · books · events


It's a great concept, but how much traffic do you get down there from 2 to 5 during the week? I'd at least go by once if it was open on the weekends to suss out what it's all about.


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