Walking through the second floor of what will become Pagination Bookshop, the cool wind drifting across the wooden floors that had recently been put in, Jennifer Murvin points to the newly furnished bedroom.
“Sometimes I just come in here and sit and just enjoy the room that’s done,” she says.
The bedroom is one of many recent renovations made to the two-story, clean, white house with a contrasting orange brick door frame on 1150 E. Walnut St. as it undergoes the process of becoming Pagination Bookshop.
Murvin and Kory Cooper, the owners, say the inside of the building is near unrecognizable from what it was just several months ago.
Murvin and Cooper purchased the building in August after looking for a potential place to open their store since March when they first became serious about opening a bookstore.
“I think it’s been a lot more time in the making,” Cooper said. “I mean, we both always loved books. She teaches English, and I love to write.”
Murvin is a professor at Missouri State and has been working in the English Department for nine years. She said the two have always loved independent bookstores and wanted to create a bookstore with a wider focus, such as selling literary-themed gifts, being a space for events, readings, parties, literary-themed garden parties or “whatever anybody wants to do with a book theme.”
The couple plans to turn the space underneath the stairs into a Harry Potter-themed nook and have a children’s books section to accompany the rest of the store’s space.
Pagination Bookshop will also utilize the second floor of the building as an Airbnb, putting in multiple bedrooms, a small kitchen space and multiple bathrooms for potential guests. Murvin also teaches at the River Pretty Writer’s Retreat — she’s now in her seventh year — an event in which people fly in from all over the country.
“I thought, ‘What a great way for people to extend their writing trip,’” Murvin says. “They can go to River Pretty and then come and stay for a week and work on their book.”
Their Airbnb has already had its first bookings, Murvin says.
The bookshop is also working on getting the correct licenses to sell drinks — such as coffee, hot chocolate and tea — as well as pastries.
The name of the shop, Pagination Bookshop, is derived from the word “pagination,” which is the sequence of numbering pages in a book.
The couple laughs as they recall the process of deciding on the name.
“It was a rough month of thinking of names,” Cooper says.
Cooper currently works as a salesman for Ozarks Coca-Cola. Both Murvin and Cooper plan to continue their current jobs alongside running the bookshop. Murvin says she sees running the shop “dovetailing beautifully” with teaching as an extension of her teaching in many ways.
Murvin says they’ll try to manage running the store on the time they have free and would most likely have to be open only a few days a week.
They hope to hire somebody part-time, and luckily, Murvin says she knows a lot of people who love books and could do a “beautiful job helping people find books.”
Murvin and Cooper say that opening the bookshop was a full-on passion project for the two of them, and working on it has been a lot of fun because they’re working on it together.
“It’s been so great because we had to do a lot of hard labor stuff with this house,” Murvin says. “Ripping up carpet — if that doesn’t bring you together.”
Murvin says Springfield is a great town to have a small business in and that the property they bought was the perfect house because it’s on Walnut Street; people in Springfield love the area, she says, and are always driving by.
While the bookshop has yet to open, Pagination Bookshop did participate in the 21st Annual Cider Days by hosting a patio sale. Murvin says the event was on their front door, and they even had ballerinas changing by the fantasy section.
“Everyone kind of wandered up to the patio,” Murvin says. “They perused the books. We let a lot of people just come in and look at the house. People are always driving by these homes, and so people were super excited to take a peek at it.”
Junior Sarah Bachler, a professional writing and creative writing major, was one of the guests to look through Pagination Bookshop on Cider Days, and she is also a student in a couple of Murvin’s classes. Bachler said that she trusts that her selection for the bookshop will be good, and she plans on “wasting her paychecks there buying her own library.”
“I feel like I’d be kind of a failure if after nine years of teaching creative writing I didn’t know how to choose books for people,” Murvin says. “I sometimes feel like, as a writing teacher, I’m like a pharmacist for books.”
While the opening date is still uncertain, the two owners are hoping to open the store sometime in mid-November. They are currently waiting on finishing renovations and a shipment of bookshelves for the store.
“We’re kind of ready to pull the trigger on our new book inventory, but we’re going to wait until the bookshelves are here,” Murvin says. “I think we can make it. It might be a quiet opening, and then we’ll probably have a big bash at some point and do the fun thing with the big scissors and the red ribbon.”