New independent bookshop will open doors in McLean this fall

Amber Taylor has signed a lease to open Fonts Books & Gifts at 6262B Old Dominion Drive in McLean this fall (courtesy Amber Taylor)

McLean is getting its own independent bookstore, filling a geographical gap in between Vienna’s Bards Alley and One More Page Books in Arlington.

In fact, Fonts Books & Gifts owner Amber Taylor prepared to launch her own business by working as a bookseller and events manager at One More Page.

Taylor says opening her own store was her goal when she met with One More Page owner Eileen McGervey for coffee and a chat about four years ago. McGervey mentioned that she was hiring and suggested working at the Arlington shop would give Taylor useful experience.

“I immediately took her up on her offer (while still running my consulting business),” Taylor told FFXnow by email. “I truly believe the education she and her whole team gave me will be a key to my success. I’m excited to add another bookstore to the growing family of stores in Northern Virginia.”

Located at 6262B Old Dominion Drive in Chesterbrook Plaza, Fonts Books & Gifts will officially open its doors in October, but McLean residents can already support the business with purchases online through Bookshop.org and Libro.fm, for those inclined toward audiobooks.

In addition to books, the store will sell “unique gifts, greeting cards, journaling supplies, candles, stickers, ‘dry’ spirits and non-alcoholic beer, and more,” according to a press release.

Fonts also plans to host author events and book signings, book club meetings, journaling classes, comedy nights, and other activities, including fundraiser evenings to benefit local schools and nonprofits.

Some events could be held in a small outdoor reading area behind the 1,045-square-foot store that can accommodate eight to 10 people.

“One of my favorite things about local bookstores is the community they nurture,” Taylor said. “Customers and booksellers develop long relationships, driven by a shared love of books and stories. They help each other explore unknown worlds and topics. And, there is always something new coming in the door.”

Though originally from Ohio, Taylor says she has been an Arlington resident for 25 years, 10 of them in a neighborhood right on the McLean border. She notes that her daughter attended the Montessori School of McLean, which is directly behind Chesterbrook Plaza.

While this is her first attempt to run her own bookstore, Taylor says “books have always been an important part of my life and that of my family.” An avid reader, she has aunts and cousins who’ve worked as librarians and publishers.

She’s eager for Fonts to join Fairfax County’s growing independent bookstore scene, which also includes the kid-focused toy and book store Child’s Play at 6645 Old Dominion Drive.

“The importance of books and stories has just always been part of me,” Taylor said. “I am thrilled to now be a member of the independent bookstore community, especially at a time when it is more important than ever to support diverse and creative voices.”

Read more on FFXnow…

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