Inside the pages of Yellow Dog Bookshop

A closer look at downtown Columbia’s favorite used book store.

Delicious food, fun nightlife and marvelous boutiques are just a few of the many things that make downtown Columbia great. But the best part about CoMo’s cityscape? Its community pride and dedication to local small businesses. A prime example: Ninth Street’s locally-owned Yellow Dog Bookshop.

Husband and wife team Joe Chevalier and Kelsey Hammond met working in a bookstore in California and had long dreamed of opening a bookstore of their own. After moving to Columbia in 2006, they found their chance. They purchased a used book store called Get Lost, changed the name and some of the inventory, added a few personal touches and officially opened their doors in August 2013. They chose to name the store Yellow Dog Bookshop, after their golden lab, Scout, and aimed to make the store a hub for creativity and idea exchange within the community.

“We want to make it a Columbia landmark,” Chevalier says, “somewhere people can stop in every week or so … (to) see what’s new.” The store boasts crowded shelves filled with books of every shape, size and every genre imaginable. From cookbooks to classics, biographies to bestsellers, Yellow Dog offers something for everyone, provided they have the patience to look.

Those who do are met with a cozy and inviting atmosphere, complete with crafty handmade signs designating the different sections and genres, and comfy corner armchairs. In the back of the store is the popular Kids’ Nook, stocked with shelves upon shelves of children’s books, small toys and a sprawling, brightly colored mural on the wall.

The cozy environment is as essential and comforting as the books. However, what makes a used book store the place to go for all your literature needs is the price. The books have been previously owned, but are still in a quality condition and marked way down from what regular retailers would normally charge.

In warmer months, a cart outside Yellow Dog Bookshop on the sidewalk advertises low prices and popular titles, making it a more desirable place to shop for someone whose appetite for books is bigger than their wallet.

Yellow Dog isn’t all just books, though. Artistic greeting cards and journals for sale can be found along a back wall –– some made by local artists, some by artists from California and even a few designed by Kelsey Hammond herself.

Whether you’re looking for a new favorite book, a gift for a friend or just exploring the downtown area, this indie bookstore is worth bookmarking.

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