Downtown Books, located in the heart of the historic district of Manteo, is a go-to place for all those who love the written word.

Owner Jamie Hope Anderson’s appreciation for authors and illustrators is renowned on the Outer Banks, and she provides opportunities for those who create literature to meet those who relish their words and images.

Beloved local children’s book author Suzanne Tate says that she greatly appreciates Jamie Hope Anderson’s inventive and exciting promotional efforts in behalf of local authors.

“Jamie thinks of new and different ways to promote books, such as having book signings at local delis and other inviting venues,” says Tate, who recently celebrated the launch of the 39th book in her uber-popular Suzanne Tate’s Nature Series. Her latest book, “Merri-Lee Monarch: A Tale of A Big Trip” — which boasts lush illustrations by Tate’s literary partner, James Melvin — documents the life and journey of the beautiful Monarch butterfly.

Stand up comic and author Greg Smrdel, who has four books under his belt, says when it comes to Anderson’s commitment to authors, you can, indeed, judge a book by its cover.

“Jamie is an author’s best friend, especially if you have a book having to do with the Outer Banks,” says Smrdel, who penned “Trivia Night: Answers You Wished You Knew: Volume 1,” “Hurricane Izzy-An OBX Story,” “The Andy Griffith Show Complete Trivia Guide,” and “Home Sweet Outer Banks Home.”

He will sign copies of the latter three books at 6 p.m. Friday, July 6, at Downtown Books.

“When I first approached Jamie, she didn’t know me or my work but didn’t hesitate adding my books to the inventory at the store,” he says, adding Anderson was receptive to teaming up with the Dare County Arts Council, “who had wanted to bring me in to do a book signing.”

Anderson also brings in a nationally published, New York Times best-selling authors to her shop, including Mary Kay Andrews, Susan Boyer, Vivian Howard, Alan Gratz, Lisa Wingate and more.

Genres galore

Downtown Books’ inventory includes a large selection of books — personally selected by Anderson — from cookbooks and local history to best sellers, non-fiction, nature, young adult and children’s titles, and more. She also carries specially chosen gift items — from children’s toys, puppets, adult and children’s puzzles, to greeting cards. Downtown Books also is the exclusive retailer for the North Carolina candle by Southern Firefly.

Like Downtown Books, its sister store in Duck — Duck’s Cottage Coffee & Books in the Waterfront Shops — also hosts book signings.

It also boasts a charming coffee shop that serves fresh-roasted coffee from a small artisanal roaster.

Smrdel, who has also had book signings at Duck’s Cottage, says he appreciates the support he and his fellow authors receive from Anderson.

“Every area should have a Jamie Hope Anderson to champion local books and authors,” he says.

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