As a stay-at-home mom with a baby on the way, Elizabeth Firoetto struggled to find somewhere to go during the day in Creston during the winter months to get out of the house.
Two and a half years later, Fioretto is in the process of creating the space herself utilizing the “third place” concept coined by sociologist Ray Oldenburg in his 1989 book “The Great Good Place.”
The concept describes a place outside your home or work where you can relax and hang out. The idea has been popularized by Starbucks as a destination for socialization, work or burning time.
“And in the winter, as a stay at home mom with two kids, there’s not a lot of places to go to spend time with your kids that’s warm,” Fioretto said. “We’ve got the library and we’ve got Adams Street Espresso, but there’s nowhere for kids really to run around. There’s nowhere for moms to go be moms and kids to go be kids.”
As a prior English teacher and a longtime book-lover, a bookstore made perfect sense for her third place.
“Books were always a big thing for my family,” Fioretto explained. “My dad was a big reader, and whenever we went out for a family dinner, we never got dessert, we just went out to a bookstore. That’s just the way I was raised — books were our entertainment.”
The Latest Edition Bookstore will be in the same location as the former bookstore, The Bookwyrm, but it will be much different than what the former store offered.
The store will carry books for all ages including books designed for babies to play with and chew on.
“It’s going to be family-friendly,” Fioretto said. “I know there are some bookstores that only focus on one genre, this is not going to be that.”
Going along with the store’s name, Fioretto plans to target new releases since the library is limited on what new releases they can get.
“I’m hoping I can fill that gap for people who like to read new release literary fiction or even new release non-fiction,” she explained. “Anything you couldn’t check out in the library is what I’d like to fill in.”
In the space at 210 N. Maple St., Fioretto plans to have a space sectioned off for kids to play. She hopes to have climbing equipment and possibly a toy kitchen set available.
Another space will look like more of a living room setup with couches and a fireplace.
“The adults can hang out, have coffee or a glass of wine, read the first chapter of their book, enjoy their drink, know their kids are playing and safe and within eye-distance,” Fioretto described. “It’s kind of a place for everyone is what I’m hoping.”
In addition to in-store purchasing, The Latest Edition partners with The Bookstore and Libro.fm to bring online ordering and audiobook purchasing options that still support the local store.
“I always thought I was born like 50 years too late to own a bookstore, and I never thought this was a possibility, but this last winter I thought, I still see independent bookstores around so they must do OK, and this town could use something like that,” Fioretto said. “I looked into it, and this is a business that could survive. I thought well, I’ve always wanted to do it. It’s very much something I’m doing for A. myself, but B. to give this town something else to do.”
The American Booksellers Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting and guiding independent bookstores, says the pandemic brought an increase in reading and bookstores.
Today, ABA membership is up 20% since the pandemic started, and sales increased 68% for ABA member stores from 2019 to 2022. There are also 329 new bookstores expected to open nationwide in the next two years.
With work already beginning in the old Greens N’ Things building, Fioretto hopes to have a ribbon cutting Oct. 5, just in time for Fiesta on Maple.
She said the store will bring something extra to local events. “For the parade during Christmas-time, to have somewhere to get a book after getting hot cocoa,” she said. “That would be really fun.”
Fioretto reads all different genres, but prefers fiction. Though she can’t pick a favorite book, right now she’s enjoying psycological thrillers and her favorite author is Liane Moriarty.
The Latest Edition Bookstore is on Facebook and Instagram and has a website, thelatesteditionbookstore.com. Hours will be Thursdays and Fridays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the first and third Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.