Contributed by Taylor Jordan
If you’ve heard of the strange bookstore on Main Street in Wasilla and you haven’t made it there yet, there’s no better time to visit! We at Black Birch Books & Curiosities love our wonderful and diverse community in the Mat-Su. Everything we do at the bookstore is meant to showcase that diversity. We strive to make sure everyone who walks through the door feels welcome but, we cannot be held responsible for the level of excitement you may feel after looking up and around when you discover all the cool stuff!
Recently we’ve had a few wonderful events that have really brought people together. We have two types of Open Mic Nights, one for music and the other for spoken word. The music night showcases talents which range from singing to playing instruments. We’ve had over 30 performers with the strength to stand up and be known in the community. Once a groove gets going, the event takes off! We’ve even stayed open until after 10pm to accommodate the amazing jam sessions that inevitably occur. The poetry nights may take more poking and prodding to build the confidence it takes to stand in front of the room and recite, but they carry even more gravity. Poets, authors, thespians, comedians and the random person reading a chapter from their favorite book show up by the droves. Each of them tell stories in just the right way to convey their thoughts and feelings and always receive applause.
Our spiritual classes are always very well attended. We schedule based on community demand and we are always looking to expand everyone’s education and tolerance. If you’re afraid of being uncomfortable at an event, let me put you at ease. The classes are always taught by a subject matter expert from the community and we have a zero-tolerance policy on persuasion. Classes are to educate and learn about world religions, not a forum for recruiting. Everyone is always welcome.
Alaska authors have a special spot in our hearts, and we host them exclusively. We even have a wall of fame in the hallway to commemorate them! Our wall showcases 18 authors since opening May 5th, 2018. We keep their books in stock so, make sure you check them out. Perhaps you’ll be surprised to hear your neighbor has five published books!
The holidays are always packed with fun and events. We are working on fine-tuning our October haunted house, our collaboration with other small businesses for spooky events and all the story time schedules until January. Our Harry Potter section is always stuffed with our handmade magic wands and magic potions which make great gifts for the holidays. For Christmas last year, we offered a free photo shoot with Santa and piles of arts and crafts activities throughout the month. We plan to offer as many opportunities as we can for family bonding in a creative and magical environment!
Though long work hours are most of what we offer, we use a dash of good time management to make sure we are always there to support and sponsor local events. We love cheering on the ladies at the roller derby and offering tickets as giveaways, sponsoring youth camps and sports teams, and volunteering time to teach outside of the bookstore. This summer, we used the day we’re closed and taught arts and crafts classes for Youth 360 at Wasilla High School. We love activities that foster team building and positive interaction between adults and youth.
The fact is, we love this community and we will do everything we can to give back. Our friendly dog, Grimm, is always waiting by the door for the next person to love! (Or to receive treats!) If you’re looking for a different experience while shopping for (not just) books, we’ve got you covered! We are located at 390 N. Main St. in Wasilla and open 9am-9pm and closed Mondays, but probably still working elsewhere.