Elsewhere bookstores vanish. In Midtown, they multiply.

Will Leathem, co-owner of the new Prospero’s Bookstore at 3600 Broadway, is busy this week getting the store ready to open. Prospero’s has two other locations, all inspired by the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris.

Prospero’s Books Uptown will open Friday evening with a band, an art show and an attitude.

The new store in the Uptown Shoppes, the former Valentine Shopping Center on Broadway, is the third location for the used book operation since it started 15 years ago on 39th Street. A second Prospero’s opened in Blue Springs about three years ago.

Will Leathem, a co-owner of all the stores, lives in the Volker neighborhood. He said that although Prospero’s has prospered, profit margins are low and owners get satisfaction from other things.

“You don’t do books because you want to drive a Rolls Royce and go to the south of France,” he said.

Part of the stores’ concept is to nurture and promote area poets, writers and artists, he said, and they do many events toward that.

At the Uptown store, the bare walls between bookshelves are for hanging original art during planned Midtown First Friday arts events, Leathem said.

It’s all in keeping with the overall Prospero plan, he added. The first store on 39th Street opened on Nov. 18 because that was the anniversary day of the opening of the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris, France.

James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway hung out at there in the 1920s and owner Sylvia Beach promoted them and even paid to publish Joyce’s work Ulysses.

Prospero’s two publishing groups have put out 40 books of poetry or memoirs by area writers in the last three years, Leathem said, and a work of short fiction is in the pipeline.

Leathem said “We have this little community (of poets, writers and artists) going on and nobody has any idea of just how big it is.”

The opening event at the Uptown location on Friday will be from 6 to 9 p.m. and feature paintings by artist and singer-songwriter Sterling Witt and music from the band Sexy Accident.

The store’s coffee shop and eating area featuring vegan and meat foods will not be open yet, but the rest will be.

There will be shelves and tables filled with books, CDs and videos as well as a children’s play area, with all books selling at half price or less, Leathem said.

Among other incentives he listed for Friday’s opening: Anyone buying more than $10 in goods gets a short neck massage and can enter a raffle for $250 in free merchandise. Those over 21 spending $10 or more also get a wristband for one half off drinks at the nearby miniBar on Broadway.

He is also negotiating with the massage shop operator and hopes she will have a permanent operation in the bookstore, he said.

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