On a hot August day in 2012, Charlotte Meldenburger walked up the stairs of the library’s new, six-story, 1,800-square-foot, glass-enclosed Bookstore in the South End of Charlotte.
The Library of Bacon, as it would become known, would open its doors on May 16, the day Meldens and her partner, Adam, launched their venture to open a bookshop in the heart of the city.
The two were already in talks with other bookstores around the country, including New York’s Central Park Booksellers, but this would be the first of a planned five-and-a-half-storey building with an expansive, three-level space.
“I’m really excited to be part of the Library of Bison,” says Melding, an associate professor at the City University of New York who has also co-founded and taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The bookshop will open in the historic Bison building, which was the site of the original Bookseller’s Club.
Meldenerburger is the daughter of a prominent Charlotte family, and when she was six, she decided to get into the book business.
She took her first class, bought a copy of “Dorothy of Egypt,” and spent years honing her craft.
“At the time, I was pretty much a blank slate,” she says.
“If I didn’t have books, I wouldn’t have a life.”
Her parents sold the family business to her father, who now runs the bookstore.
She got a job as a clerk at a nearby bookstore, and in 2013, she got her first job as an assistant.
She then went to work at the Charlotte Observer as a copy editor, and her career trajectory has been anything but straightforward.
“You’ve got to be a bit of a perfectionist to work in this environment,” she tells me.
“And I wasn’t.”
At the beginning of her career, she had little interest in books.
“My dad is a book collector,” she remembers.
“So he would read me books all the time and I loved that.
But I was always a little bit skeptical about learning how to read a book.”
“It was hard to pick a book that would help me learn, and I didn