Up & Coming Establishments: Dante's Books

Dante's Books, a small used bookstore, is the newest addition to Main Street in Geneseo.

"We're really all about great, affordable books here," said Soren Thomas, owner and founder of the store. Dante's Books opened just over three months ago and is adjacent to Mama Mia's pizza parlor.

"I was inspired by a love of great books and a love of sharing great books," Thomas said. His father, Dante, was a professor of English at Geneseo from 1967 to 1989.

"About 50 percent of all the books in the store are donated from his personal collection," Thomas continued.

The store sells used books from a range of categories including classic fiction, history, philosophy, art, photography, science fiction, poetry and theology. Most of the inventory sells for under $10.

Dante's also offers first editions of books, rare books, used children's books and used comic books. Several walls of the store are adorned with artwork and photography, and Thomas said he intends to showcase local and student artists.

The store hosted a poetry slam last Friday and raised money for Invisible Children at a book sale on Saturday. A creative writing workshop will be held this Friday.

"We're looking to go above and beyond a retail establishment," Thomas said. "We want to make this a store directly connected to the student community."

The store has enjoyed a favorable response from students so far. "[Dante's] has a great selection of books, and the books are inexpensive," said senior Alissa Herman. "Dante's Books is a treasure."

"It's what a bookshop should be, as opposed to cold, chain bookstores," said sophomore Marie-Jo Nassar. "You can spend hours in there just finding tons of books you'd love to read."

"[Dante's] has a very eclectic mix of books, so everybody can find something they love," said freshman April Lenhard.

Dante's Books is open seven days a week.