Anne Uebbing can open a portal to another dimension, unlock the mystery of the human condition, and share glimpses into the experiences of fascinating people long gone.
No, she’s not a mystical wizard, a professor of psychology, or an uncanny spiritual medium.
She shares these incredible experiences through her passionate love for books. The simple yet powerful combination of paper and binding, words and pictures.
This is the power of literature.
It’s precisely this boundless wonder and joy that is found within Uebbing’s bookstore, Kinder Books, located at 810 Quayside Drive, in New Westminster, B.C.
“When I’m reading, I feel like I’m going into other people’s heads because I’m reading their minds and thoughts,” Uebbing says. “Reading brings you a different perspective and can become a very emotional activity for people.”
Kinder Books celebrated its third anniversary in its current location this August. That staying power is a testament not only to Uebbing’s curiosity, but to her sheer commitment to every title she carries.
To wit, Uebbing reads every book she carries before bringing it into her physical location – that reading tally now sits in the thousands.
This allows a more fulsome learning experience for Uebbing’s clientele. Rather than simply carrying a single book about bears, for example, Uebbing carries numerous offerings that completely round out that knowledge: titles that speak to a bear’s habitat, what it eats, what plants grow in bear country and even beginner books that explain the basic appearance of a bear.
“Yes, I have titles that these big-box stores carry as well, but the difference is that we are curating everything – we are putting things together that belong together,” Uebbing says. “It’s not just one title, it’s a whole unit of knowledge that you can gather from our curated displays.”
Uebbing likes to challenge herself and her clientele by sourcing “special books,” which is to say books that are challenging, full of depth and thematic in scope.
“But then not everybody wants to go into depth and just wants to touch the top of a subject and our books cater to them too,” Uebbing says. “And if we don’t have a particular book, I can order that title for a customer as well.”
Having grown up in the former East Germany, Uebbing’s initial career goal was to be an educator like her father and sister. And while she does have formal training in the education field, there is a unique career overlap afforded through her training in education and her love for literature.
It’s this harmony that makes shopping at Kinder Books such a richly rewarding experience – when customers come to the store, they know they’ll be speaking to a person who is passionate about literature.
“Oftentimes, you go to a bigger bookstore and the goal is to sell lots of books but you don’t necessarily speak to people who read lots of books,” Uebbing says. “It’s that personal connection that I want people to pick up on – that I care about this book. I want you to know that I’m doing this with a lot of passion behind it.”
To learn more about the store, visit kinderbooks.ca.