W Who doesn’t love walking into a library or a bookstore, taking in the sight of the stacks and stacks of books, and just inhaling deeply while smiling? While our world is largely digital today, nothing can replace the simple joy of relaxing in a comfortable chair with our favorite book…actual pages and all.
For Dale and Jaye Adams, that love and appreciation of the written word has brought forth “The Boerne Book Shop.” Simply named, it’s the result of a lifelong devotion to books, and has fast become a local hub for the community, young and old alike.
by Ben Schooley
Dale, a stay at home Dad for the entire time his children were schooling, sought a new challenge as the kids aged and as he puts it, “I have always wanted to do it, and figured that since nobody else was doing anything like this locally, I’d do it.” Jaye, a fertility doctor in San Antonio, explains, “He followed me all over the place with my career! I was always on call, I moved him all over the country from our days in the military, and he said he had this dream of a bookstore. He said he wanted to do it, and I said that this is the age where we should be saving money! But we decided to move forward and I’m so happy we did.”
The couple, celebrating 22 years together, have been Boerne residents since 2008. Coming originally for the school system, the Adams’ wanted to get involved in their community. Dale explains, “This is not something for me to make a lot of money. I think it’s important for the community, and in order to do that, it must be economically viable. I want it to perpetuate when I’m gone. Perhaps like a gardener planting a seed that will grow into a tree with enough time. I want it to be here for the community. I want to provide an environment that is well balanced, without political preferences, and to not skew one way or another.”
And the couple has succeeded, despite COVID challenges. Jaye explains, “We’re having a blast. The lockdown has killed us. We have 3 part time people, but it cuts our traffic drastically. Online sales for everything has gone through the roof, and we had months where people barely came in the building. It’s been rough, but we’re so glad to be fighting through.”
A one-time School Board member, Dale is serious about education and has worked to cultivate those initiatives. “I had been involved with the school level for a while and I wanted to keep our schools high quality and make them better. Ran twice, lost the 1st time. It was a wonderful experience. I started an engineering program there and I tried to contain the spending, whether I was successful or not. It’s very collaborative and conservative fiscally. I just feel that books are incredibly important especially in today’s age of digital papers – and being on the school board I saw so much of a switch to a digital format. With things changing as fast as they are, people are picking things that are faster and faster and I think it’s so important to encourage that, yet maintain some of original ways of learning.”
Small business ownership comes with long hours, and the couple encourage one another. Jay explains, “He’s been working super hard. No more weekends off for us! We haven’t been enjoying these amazing empty nest weekends like we wanted. Hopefully as it grows, that will change. I’m proud of him. He put a lot of effort into this and it’s been special to watch it grow.” Dale finds his motivation from the citizenry as well. He says, “The community has responded so well. People constantly tell me they’re so appreciative to have a bookstore here and that they’ll come in and shop just because we’re here. The school district will order some of their books from us, and some customers will buy a book and donate it back and it’s so cool. I just enjoy seeing the interaction and the sense of community.”
As the couple builds on their business as time passes, they continue to appreciate the support – both with simple encouragement and with patronage – and Dale finishes, “I’m amazed at how many people walk in and say they love the smell of this place. I really smile every time someone says that. We have something for anybody. IF there’s something particular they want, we can get that too. Used books that you can only get from obscure printers, and I don’t normally do used books, but I can do just about anything. We have 15,000 books in here now and they’re all different and covering virtually everything imaginable. I really feel that I’m creating a community literary focal point here. It’s a place where people come when people want to leave the world of electronics and just relax with the past, new ideas, and connect with other people that
appreciate the written word.