Rebranding Little Professor and Rethinking the Independent Bookstore: Free Textbooks Founder Jonathan Robinson Buys a Brick and Mortar Shop

localist logo

Jonathan Robinson, new owner of Little Professor bookstore in Homewood, AL, joins Carrie on The Localist this week. Jonathan has an extensive history in the online book industry and tells us how he is translating that experience to a brick and mortar location. Jonathan took ownership of Little Professor only a few weeks before quarantine started, but had a little bit of time to implement some changes. Jonathan and Carrie talk about what he changed pre-quarantine, what he changed during quarantine, and what changes will become permanent post-quarantine. Jonathan gets real with how Little Professor is staying competitive with big-box stores by focusing on providing a great customer experience and visit frequency. Jonathan and Carrie then chat about staffing and how that has been affected pre-quarantine and during quarantine. They wrap up the conversation with the importance of community, and take a deep dive into technology and how it’s bringing us closer to some parts of our social circle, but distancing us from others. 

Mentioned in this episode: 

Little Professor

Little Professor on Instagram

Church Street Coffee and Books

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Can Reading Make You Happier? The New Yorker


Palaces for the People by Eric Klinenberg

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

The Vanishing Neighbor by Marc J. Dunkelman

Birmingham Barons 

Good People Brewing

About Carrie

Carrie Rollwagen is host of the Localist podcast and cofounder of Church Street Coffee & Books. Currently, she works as Vice President of Strategic Planning at Infomedia, a web development company in Birmingham, Alabama. Find the Localist at @thinklocalist on Instagram and follow Carrie at @crollwagen.

Email with a purpose Let's Keep in Touch

Good news (and practical tips) for small businesses — we're not into being pushy or spammy.