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Meet the Bookseller: John Cavalier, Cavalier House Books, Denham Springs, Louisiana

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, July 4, 2018

John CavalierName: 
John Cavalier

Store and location: 
Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, LA

website || facebook || twitter || instagram

Number of years as a bookseller: 
15 (Book Warehouse of Baton Rouge from 2003-2005 and Cavalier House Books from 2005 - Present)

Best part about being a bookseller?:
I've always viewed books as tools - they contain the answers and inspiration for all of our questions. So for me, the best part of being a bookseller is both finding that inspiration for myself and sharing it with others (especially kids)! 

What book(s) are you reading?:

At our store we're all currently doing an online read along of Don Quixote and A Confederacy of Dunces (#DonIgnatius) in conjunction with the Great American Read. So I'm just getting into Don Quixote, but on my bedside table I have copies of The One Click Store, Building a Storybrand and about 20 other books that are dog eared in varying states of completion.

Hello HelloFavorite handsell of 2018:
Probably Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzell. I love picture books that have a simple idea but that have much bigger implications the more you think about them. It's such a simple idea but it so well expressed! It's definitely a title that is well served with some bonus explanation and enthusiasm.

Best thing you did this year at your store:
Well ....the best thing I've done this year isn't technically at the shop but is sort of parallel to the shop and it has occupied the bulk of my attention in getting it off the ground. At the beginning of the year we had the opportunity to create a separate business wholesaling / distributing Louisiana Interest titles. A local, regional (Louisiana and Texas) distributor went under and we snapped up some of their intangible assets like their customer list and title history. We've been working 100 hour weeks to establish the Loozaiana Book Company and so far we've managed to conquer all of the associated paperwork and we're slowly working our lists and growing our customer base! It's an amazing opportunity and we're growing and learning every day!

Cavalier House CrewCavalier House Crew


Social Media Stats (FB likes, Twitter followers, etc)

Facebook 1576
Twitter 1152
Instagram 748

What are some ways you work with your community?
I am part of the leadership team for our local merchant's association, I'm on the board of our local Main Street organization and my wife and I volunteer huge chunks of time and energy to Denham Strong which is a local volunteer based and city led recovery group that was formed after flooding in 2016 that affected most of our community. I am very civic minded and our store is literally next door to our city hall so I spend a fair amount of time with my friends and foils at city hall both as a volunteer and a gadfly! Also, this past fall we worked with our local newspaper to host a city council debate for a special election to fill a vacated seat and we're hoping to replicate that for our municipal and parish elections this Fall. We also partner with our parish library for special programming and author visits and we host book fairs in a ton of area schools. We've also from time to time hosted book drives and charitable book sales for area schools and nonprofits.

Do you have any community partners you work with regularly?

Denham Springs Main Street, Denham Strong and the Livingston Parish News are our more frequent collaborators.

Do you have passions that carry over into your bookselling life?
Absolutely, but my passions tend to be more abstract. Things like problem solving and planning and learning are what get me excited, so entrepreneurship is my jam. Bookselling is kind of the perfect job because there is always a new problem or opportunity and I'm literally trading in the things that inspire me the most! So for me, bookselling is kind of a perpetual motion machine of inspiration and action!

Top priority for 2018:

My top priority for 2018 is to establish all of our processes and policies for our distribution company and to grow our customer base as much as possible. On the retail side of things my top priority is to enhance the way I communicate with my staff and to create a better workflow for collaborating on online content and marketing in general.

Favorite SIBA programming benefit:
My favorite thing about SIBA is definitely the facilitation of discussion among colleagues. SIBA as an exchange of ideas is the most important for me!

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