The Artsy Bookworm

Your Independent Community Bookstore

The Artsy History

When a FOR RENT sign showed up in front of 1319 30th Street in Rock Island in late December 2020, our owner, Tamara Felden, did not hesitate. She called the property owner to arrange a viewing of the space, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Having thought for some time about ways in which she could make more of a contribution to the Rock Island community, this was the moment when a bookstore -this bookstore- became reality. She knew it would be a place where community members would find things not readily available elsewhere: a curated selection of books to help us think through the salient issues of our time; art by the many excellent local artists whose works we have enjoyed over the years but who have so few opportunities to display them now; high-quality gifts, particularly for children; and yarn for those for whom many a day is not complete without a craft project in their hands.

Social justice takes many forms. So does business. Felden saw an opportunity to combine both. Offering books that help bring all kinds of people together, being able to provide a job or two, contributing to the economic base of our community – all this is meant to work toward greater equity for all. So is the chance to offer merchandise sourced from Black and women-owned businesses, from makers that are environmentally responsible and offer organic, cruelty-free and fair-trade merchandise, and to create a safe space.

We unabashedly aim to do good, and we’re looking to you to help us in that. As we launch events and fundraisers, seek connections with groups in our community, and learn everything that should govern our work, we ask you to give us your feedback, your suggestions, your community connections, and your support. Nobody succeeds alone and we count on you!