Tom Nissley is hopeful he can open Madison Books in Madison Park by November, filling a void felt in the neighborhood for more than a decade.
“We just get that there’s this hunger for having this store right in the middle of everything,” said Nissley, who has owned Phinney Books in Phinney Ridge since 2014.
The bookstore wasn’t his idea, but that of longtime resident Susan Moseley, who spent some time reaching out to potential partners before tapping Nissley.
“I think she’s been trying to get a store in the neighborhood ever since Madison Park Books closed in 2005,” he said. “I had not been looking to expand. Susan got in touch with us, and just the more that we talked about it, the more appealing it sounded.”
Nissley is bringing in James Crossley from Island Books in Mercer Island to manage the bookstore, and he’ll start in October.
“That’s also part of what made it seem possible in my head,” Nissley said.
Madison Books is the first new tenant for Constance Court, which the Losh family has been restoring and renovating for more than a year now at 4114-4116 E. Madison St. They purchased the building from Constance Gillespie, whose family had owned the property since 1937.
“It’s a really small space, that’s going to be one of the challenges, so try to pack in as much as we can,” Nissley said regarding inventory for the new bookstore. “What we do down here (Phinney Books) is keep it as general as we can.”
Once Madison Books opens, Nissley said, he hopes to partner with other businesses in the neighborhood to host author readings and book clubs.
Opening by November would be ideal, when Christmas shopping is in full swing.
“I can even imagine doing some kind of popup even if things weren’t quite completed in the store,” he said.
Nissley took over Santoro’s Books in Phinney Ridge in 2014, renaming it Phinney Books. He is an author, and also an eight-time Jeopardy champion. He used part of his $235,405 in winnings to buy the bookstore.