Earlier this year, the mobile bookstore moved to a permanent space on Campbell Avenue.
Writer and editor Angelo Colavita has spent most of his adult life in the book-selling business. A native of Philadelphia, he worked in six bookstores before moving to Roanoke to open a mobile shop specializing in the sale of independent radical literature aimed at shedding light on new and underappreciated ideas. , founded War On Books.
Colavita said “Books and War” has always been intended to provide communities with a sanctuary to explore the literature that helps them gain knowledge that empowers them to challenge widely accepted ideologies. increase.
In essence, the reading material sold tends to spark important conversations. In a way, this took her Colavita in a direction she had never thought of before.
“I felt that a six-foot folding table with a few boxes of books would become a safe place for left-wing and right-wingers to mingle, and perhaps for some reason, perhaps under some other organization, questions that could not be asked. “I’ve seen it become a safe place to do things with each other. The situation. They told me so,” he says. It was also fun for him to see people from all walks of life find literature in the store that they could connect with.
In May, Colavita decided to seize the opportunity and turn War On Books into a primarily stationary business.
When choosing the location, the compact semi-underground atmosphere was a big attraction. “Some of the lighting in the common areas also has a full bunker feel,” Colavita says. “It fits the ‘Underfunded Cold War Program’ aesthetic of War On Books, doesn’t it?”
It’s also fitting that this bookstore is in Roanoke’s West End. It’s where War on Books attracted many of its early fans when it was mobile-only. Colavita will continue to have pop-ups, primarily at Golden Cactus Brewing on Wednesdays, Sweet Donkey Coffee on select weekends, and select community events, so you’re in luck if you miss the store’s pop-ups.
The new store is home to our free-to-attend monthly War on Bookclubs. It will also soon be the gathering place for A Page Against the Machine, a writing workshop led by Colavita that “helps turn political riots into sophisticated and meaningful literary works.”
As for the future of War On Books, Colavita has more ideas in the pipeline and hopes to share them with the community when the time is right. “This is both a personal journey of discovery and expression through art and writing, and at the same time a direct, militant anti-fascist effort, and at the same time a retail store, perfect for just hanging out and meeting people.” It’s also a place, and to be honest, I’m excited to see how far we can go.”
Stay up to date by following the shop @waronbooks on Instagram. If you’d like to support the War on Books mission, you can donate by purchasing a Patreon membership, shopping in store, or online at waronbooks.com.