After corporate jobs, she found a home running Beyond Bedtime Books

June 6, 2022

Beyond+Bedtime+Books+keeps+the+spirit+of+books+alive+in+Dormont.

Mandy Wu

Beyond Bedtime Books keeps the spirit of books alive in Dormont.

After leaving her corporate jobs at Estée Lauder and Verizon Wireless, Jamie Grassman pursued her passion of selling books and opened her store Beyond Bedtime Books in 2010.

Grassman originally began her business by selling children’s books online, which gained success. This led her to expand to a store in Dormont and sell books from all genres, including popular fiction, non-fiction, and classical literature.

The store only sells used books, and Grassman gains her inventory through donations or buying collections of books herself.

“I wanted to get them organically and have people donate,” Grassman said. “There’s something comfortable about a used book. It’s been loved.”

When customers first walk into the bookstore, they are greeted by a multitude of shelves and bins packed with books. Grassman wanted to create a welcoming, New York-style atmosphere.

“I feel like when people come in here they feel like it’s home. It takes them out of their everyday life,” she said.

Unlike most stores during the Covid shutdown, Beyond Bedtime Books surprisingly became more successful during the pandemic.

“When my storefront closed, I delivered books to anybody in Pittsburgh who wanted books,” Grassman said. “I always did all right, but when you’re up against it, you really understand what you need to do to save your store.”

Grassman takes special pride in her store, which is why, over the last 12 years since it has opened, she has never hired any employees.

“I am the face of this store, and I don’t want to miss a customer that comes in,” Grassman said. “I want to be here. I’m here seven days a week, and it’s who I am. My soul is this store.”

Ironically, Grassman opened Beyond Bedtime Books around the same time eBook readers such as Kindles and Nooks were released, but she didn’t feel competition from them.

“I wasn’t too threatened by it because I knew that people still love the feel of the book. A Kindle is accessible, but I feel that my clientele loves physical books and they love to pass on their favorite book to someone,” Grassman said.

Grassman finds it essential to keep physical books alive and hopes her store contributes to the continuation of them.

“In a world with everything going digital, just to have a book with a dust jacket and the smell of a book that’s been handed down, is really important to me,” she said.

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