Hayden Seay, Chattanooga, Tenn. – Star Line Books, one of Chattanooga’s independent bookstores, hosted its first book club mixer, complete with wine and snacks, on Friday, Feb. 12.

“From day one opening, I was asked numerous times [by patrons], bookclubs,” said Star Lowe, the owner of Star Line Books. “I said let me get this first [fourth] quarter under my belt, and when things slowed down, I’m going to get everybody together.”

The book club aims to get people talking to one another and form clubs based on specific genres.
From there, one person from the group will relay the book title and time of the meeting to Lowe, who will then post it online.

Lowe, who moved to Chattanooga three years ago from Nashville, and opened Star Line Books as a response to the lack of independent bookstores in the city.

“This was born of necessity,” said Lowe. “I came from a community that had, at one time, four independent bookstores.”

After moving to Chattanooga, Lowe planned on meeting new people through an independent bookstore, but there were none.

“That’s how I would ease into Chattanooga, that’s how I’ll make friends, that’s where I’ll meet like minded bookish people,” said Lowe. “[There was] nothing like what I was used to or wanted.”

Lowe spent more than a year researching everything that goes into running a bookstore.

“If I don’t do it now, I’m not going to do it, so I did it, said Lowe. “It’s a 24-week old infant that is not sleeping through the night yet.”

Lowe focuses on offering a mixture of new and older books.

“My hope is to curate a really nice backlist selection, those books that are still in print,” said Lowe. “Being able to source [a book] to them or hand it to them if I already have it, you’re not going to find that in a big box store.”