Episode 28: Christin Young | Owner of The Green Door Bookstore & Gift Shoppe

I discovered The Green Door Bookstore & Gift Shoppe first on Instagram, and later got to visit the store on Independent Bookstore Day. While I was there, I met owner Christin Young, and had a delightful conversation. She's our guest on today's podcast episode! 

The bookstore has been around for about 1 year, and moved to a new location in Stanley Station shopping center this spring. It's located at 7713 W. 151st Street Overland Park, KS 66223 (which is 151st and 69-Hwy). You can visit their website or give them a call at 913-766-8646. They offer free delivery in Johnson County! 

Find and follow them on Instagram at @thegreendoorstoreks and Facebook at The Green Door Store KS

Get the book list here (affiliate link)  and come visit me @library.Laura on Instagram! 

 (Many of the links below are affiliate links to either Bookshop or Amazon, which means I may be compensated by purchases through these links. Thanks for your support!)

Not only does The Green Door carry new & used books of all different genres, but also gifts, especially perfect for teachers, hostesses, and friends, which Christin is also passionate about. 

Christin loves owning the store because it is her opportunity to be a part of the community, give people a good experience, and spread happiness through books. 


Christin Young, owner of The Green Door Book Store & Gift Shoppe in Overland Park, KS 

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” ― Fran Lebowitz

Christin wanted listeners to know that owning a bookstore is bigger than just selling books. She was also surprised at how many school-aged kids came into the store. As a result she has expanded her juvenile fiction section quite significantly since the store started.  She originally anticipated selling adult books and little kids' books, but these younger kids pleasantly surprised her with how much they love books and look for them when they come in.

According to Christin, one of the best things about owning the store is getting to know all the people and the friendships that have been built. She also said, "My dream of owning a bookstore and sitting around and reading books all day was sheer fantasy! I have less time than ever right now to read. I've had to start reading three books at once, so I can keep up. It's fine as long as it's in different genres. It's an occupational hazard. "

She did have some people come in who were unhappy or angry about the section of books she had and they felt unrepresented. She felt like she didn't do a good job, which was hard and she continues to work on that. She just didn't know, and has continued to build sections of the store based on customer recommendations. She is always striving for having a good mix where everyone can find something they want to read. "If there's a book we don't have in the store, ask me and I will order it!" 

We were recording during Banned Book Week, and Christin said she's against censorship, loves promoting literacy, and enjoys reading widely. She just wants there to be a book for everyone. 

When I asked Christin about her hopes and dreams for the future about The Green Door store, she said, "I want to be a staple in the community. I hope that I am here for years to come. That the kids I have coming in now, that I am here long enough to see them bringing in their children. Ultimately, I would love that. To continue to be a part of the community and to make people happy. I know for me, I feel just as at peace around book as I am in nature. I love it when people come in, sit and hang out and read."

Christin's parents were avid readers and read her many books, especially classic fairy tales, such as Hansel & Gretel. She also enjoyed Nancy Drew mysteries.

The Green Door Store's name is inspired by Christin's favorite color and her childhood love of portal fiction, such as: 

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe - her favorite book as a kid

The Secret Garden - the book her teacher read her in 1st grade 

The Golden Compass 

I recommended The Ten Thousand Doors of January based on this fact. I also mentioned that the green door reminds me of the Hobbits' doors, which wasn't the first time she's heard that! 

When it comes to reading, "I've always been the reader that has to have the physical book. Always," said Christin. But she will also download books digitally, which makes them easier to read at night if she's having trouble sleeping. She loves books that stay with you and give you a sense of wonder.

Good on Audiobook

She doesn't listen to too many books on audio, because she would rather listen to them in a long stretch of time rather than starting and stopping. She did listen to Daisy Jones and the Six, and loves that they had multiple narrators including some well-known actors.

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan - This is the one that has the music playing as part of the story. An example of a great audiobook production! Christin said this sounds like a perfect book to listen to while taking her daily walk.

Harry Potter series - I've heard that these are great on audio, and Christin hasn't read the books, so she might just enjoy this series audibly. Apparently the UK covers are also amazing, check out more info on that here.

Check out Libro.FM! It's where Christin enjoys getting her audiobooks. They're a great place to purchase audiobooks if you're not getting them from the library.

Books that are set in bookstores or about bookstore owners

 The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry - A bookshop owner on an island. An element of mystery and a little melancholy, but overall a really lovely book. 

Diary of A Bookseller , also wrote Confessions of a Bookseller and Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops (coming Nov. 24th, 2020) - Shaun Bythell owns and runs the Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland and has started writing about his experience of being a bookstore owner. 

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill - a cute contemporary romance, but Nina works in a bookstore and it's a big part of her life. Cute cover, too! Christin gets lots of requests for this one. 

The Secret, Book, and Scone Society  - a big part of this cozy mystery is that one of the women owns a bookstore and the Society meets there. "That sounds like grab a tea and a scone and sit and read it," said Christin. And she's exactly right. 

Bonus: I remembered after the show that Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore is also great and set in a bookstore (albeit at strange one!)  and emailed Christin to recommend it. 

Books Christin is Reading and Recommending

The Book of Lost Names - historical fiction that Christin is reading and enjoying.

Ink & Sigil - fantasy fiction. A powerful magic ink, a few people who are aware of it, and now they're in danger because of it.

Truman Capote's In Cold Blood - an exceptional writer, true story of a brutal murder of a family in KS. This is the book Christin is reading for book club this month.

She is looking forward to reading The Evening and The Morning by Ken Follett (Prequel to the Pillars of the Earth )

I'm Thinking of Ending Things - a intense but disturbing psychological thriller. Christin loves a good twist and loves a surprise. Great in book form, she does NOT recommend the Netflix adaptation, as it is not particularly true to the book.

The Bromance Book Club - a cute fun read.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig - a book that Christin ordered in recently and has gotten lots of positive feedback from her customers.

Books Laura Recommended 

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise - One of my absolute favorites, Christin ordered into the store on my recommendation.

A Kind of Paradise (I mistakenly said while describing this book that she stole a dictionary as her "big mistake" that landed her volunteering in the library. That was actually Summer Hours at the Robbers Library, which also involves a girl being sentenced to a summer of volunteering at a library!) - hits at the community aspect that books bring. A middle grade novel about a girl who reluctantly has to spend her summer volunteering at the library.

We talked about how it can be difficult to find recommendations that are challenging but appropriate for young readers. I mentioned talking to Kaitlyn on Episode 21 about her Novelann website she created to help adults and kids with exactly this struggle.

Lovely War - a fantastic WWI historical fiction narrated by the Greek gods Apollo, Ares, Hades and Aphrodite. One of my favorites this year.

The Night Circus - Christin and I have both read, and loved it. A bookshop customer recently got this book in their "Blind Date With A Book" program and loved it as well.

The Lending Library - A story about a woman who opens a library in her sunroom after her local library closes down due to an asbestos problem.

From the Desk of Zoe Washington - An awesome book for kids to learn from about criminal justice and the Innocence Project, as well as a sweet middle grade story that turns into a bit of a mystery.

The Mostly Invisible Boy - a great middle grade fantasy by a local author, AJ Vanderhorst. (Christin loves to support local authors. You can check out some more local authors on The Green Door website. )

Graphic novels 

I recommended Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, which sent us down the rabbit hole of good graphic novels. 

The Green Door carries a Jane Austen graphic novel 

A Wrinkle In Time Graphic Novel 

Anne of Green Gables 

Lucy Knisley's books - especially Relish

Victoria Jamieson's books: Roller Girl, All's Faire in Middle School, When Stars are Scattered 

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell - a perfect fall adventure in graphic novel format 



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Library Laura
Laura is an avid reader who is happiest when surrounded by books, tea, blankets and/or friends. Host of the Library Laura Podcast.


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