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All Good Books — Cola’s new independent bookstore

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All Good Books is under construction across the street from the Five Points Fountain. | Photo by COLAtoday

Picture this — a cozy independent bookstore in the heart of Five Points that sells the best new releases, offers a space for author events, highlights local book releases, and has a cafe.

All Good Books aims to be just that and construction is underway in the 3,000 sqft building at 724 Harden St. The new bookstore plans to open in early 2023.


Construction is underway inside All Good Books in Five Points. | Photo by Clint Wallace

The bookstore is a collaborative effort between Soda Citizens Clint Wallace, a tax law professor at USC, and Ben Adams, owner of Odd Bird Books in the Arcade Mall. The two were inspired by college town bookstores across the country — think the original Borders Book Shop in Ann Arbor, MI, or Square Books in Oxford, MS — and have been searching for a space to open their own for a few years.

“My whole family is from Columbia, miss places like Happy Bookseller, and grew up coming to coming to Five Points,” Clint said. “We started by casting a pretty broad net, but then we really zeroed in on Five Points as the right vibe. This building turned out to be the perfect match because it was big enough and it’s going to let us have a back garden area where people can sit and read.”

On Wednesday, All Good Books hit its goal of $60,000 on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. The owners are giving everyone who has pledged a membership for 2023, which entails a 10% discount on books + coffee for the year. Once the store is open, memberships will cost $25 per year.

Ghost sign of business past

Ghosting on the front of the building reads “BATTERIES, YOCUM AND DIAMOND” — the sign for the former tenant Yocum Batteries that occupied the space in the early 1960s. The facade was last seen in 1998 when the beloved bygone restaurant Parthenon occupied the space and updated the facade.

Here’s where we need your help. We’ve found references to Sox’s Barbeque Drive In at 724 Harden St. in Five Points. Let us know if you have any memories to share from this bygone restaurant.

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