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YOLO COUNTY NEWS

365体育滚球The iconic independent downtown bookstore, The Avid Reader, has new owners as of Friday, Jan. 31. Davis couple Brett and Erin Arnold bought the store from longtime former owner Alzada Knickerbocker. The Arnold family and Knickerbocker plan a celebration and reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21. All are invited. Owen Yancher/Enterprise photo

Business

Avid Reader announces ownership change

On Friday, Jan. 31, The Avid Reader in Davis changed owners from longtime Davis resident Alzada Knickerbocker to Davis couple and family, Brett and Erin Arnold and their daughter and son, Emelyne and Owen.

To observe the occasion, Knickerbocker will join the Arnolds in inviting the community to a celebration and reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at The Avid Reader, 617 Second St. in downtown Davis.

365体育滚球The Arnolds have long ties to the Davis community and say they’re “thrilled to be taking over the reins of such a beloved local business.” Erin studied human development while at UC Davis and went on to get a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. For more than 15 years, Erin has worked and volunteered as a developmental specialist, therapist, and mentor to young adults. Not surprisingly, Erin has a soft spot for children’s and young adult literature. She is also an experienced traveller and loves to discover great travel books and resources.

365体育滚球Brett grew up in the Central Valley on his family’s peach and almond farm. He graduated from UC Davis with a crop science and management degree, then went to graduate school  to study theology and, ultimately, law. “I just couldn’t seem to leave the books behind,” he said. Brett has been practicing civil litigation for the last 10 years and in his free time loves to read everything from fantasy novels to finance texts.

Alzada Knickerbocker, left, announced the sale of two signature downtown Davis stores, The Avid Reader and Avid Reader Active, on Friday to Erin and Brett Arnold. Rosemary Hemenway/Enterprise photo

Just like Brett’s parents, Brett and Erin met during their time at UC Davis. Six years ago they moved back to Davis with their two kids, Emelyne, 11 and Owen, 9. “Davis has been a wonderful place to raise our kids,” Erin said, “most of our dearest friends and family live inside these 10 square miles.”

365体育滚球Brett added, “For years, Emelyne and I have been going on father-daughter dates downtown and our favorite part is always ending the evening at The Avid Reader, where Emelyne gets to pick a new book. The store is just a magical place for us.”

Alzada Knickerbocker is very happy with the Arnolds as those taking the helm of her local independent bookstore. “I couldn’t have chosen better buyers to carry on the legacy of The Avid Reader here in Davis,” she said. “Their enthusiasm, savvy and local ties and history make them ideal successors.”

Knickerbocker purchased another bookstore — Orpheus — 33 years ago in downtown Davis and transitioned it into a general bookstore serving the reading interests of the community. The bookstore has been in its present location nearly 30 years.

During her tenure in bookselling, Knickerbocker also owned a children’s bookstore in Davis, a general bookstore across from the Capitol and another in the space once occupied by Tower books on Broadway in Sacramento. Eight years ago she began Avid Reader Active, a toy, game and card shop just down the block from The Avid Reader on Second Street, which the Arnolds are also purchasing.

Prior to owning The Avid Reader, Knickerbocker was marketing director for the Sacramento Symphony for eight years. Her love of reading began at an early age as she grew up in an academic and artistic household with a father as an English professor and textbook author and mother as a violinist. She holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a Masters in English from Stanford.

The long-term Avid Reader staff will continue with the store under new ownership — Bruce Mickle, general manager; Jina Fahrni, nonbook buyer and display coordinator; Mike McGrail, bookseller; and Arthur Vassar, Active manager, events director and bookkeeper.

365体育滚球“These are seasoned and competent staff,” Knickerbocker said, “who will work to insure The Avid Reader and Avid Reader Active will continue to serve their customers going forward with the same high standards and friendly outreach they’ve exhibited in the past.”

Say hello

What: Avid Reader Celebration & Welcoming Reception

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21,

Where:365体育滚球 The Avid Reader Davis, 617 Second St.

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