Karen Piacentini and  her dog.jpg

Stormy, the friendly dalmation, accompanies Karen Piacentini, owner of Fenton’s Open Book, to the shop most days. 

 After years of selling books, hosting events and being involved in city activities, Fenton’s Open Book will celebrate its 10th anniversary Aug. 29.

 Owner Karen Piacentini is planning a 10th anniversary celebration to take place at her Dibbleville store from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 “It feels great,” she said. When her husband died seven years ago, she wasn’t sure if she was going to keep up the store. Piacentini said she’s “glad” she kept running it. “It keeps me busy and I just love working with books and customers. I’ve got great employees who do a lot when I’m not here. You couldn’t do it without everyone,” she said.

 Piacentini also works with local schools as a paraprofessional teacher for special needs students. She’s done this for more than 18 years.

 “I always said I had the two best jobs, working with kids and then coming to the store,” she said. “I think the town just needs a bookstore. I just can’t believe it’s been 10 years.”

 Even people who don’t live in Fenton will come to support Fenton’s Open Book. They can ask Piacentini to order books or they can order them online through the store’s website.

 “It helps to make people aware that there are other options,” she said.

 In these past 10 years, Piacentini has done more than sell books. She puts on events, such as Witches Night, she promotes local authors, she sells tickets for the Fenton Village Players and is involved in Fenton City activities.

 “I just get so excited. Everyone is excited when they do what they’re passionate about,” she said. “And everyone loves Stormy. Maybe that’s why I’ve been in business for 10 years.”

 Stormy is Piacentini’s friendly dalmatian who she brings into the store.

 “She likes going up to people, and it’s a welcoming thing. I couldn’t have a better bookstore dog,” she said.

 Since the pandemic began, she’s required masks to be worn inside the store, and she hasn’t had any issues with customers refusing to wear one.

 “In this community, pretty much everyone is good with it,” she said.

 For the 10-year anniversary on Aug. 29, Piacentini said they’re also celebrating Independent Bookstore Day. It’s a nationwide recognition of independent bookstores, which is usually celebrated in April. However, it was moved to August due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Piacentini is planning a Harry Potter theme for Aug. 29. She’ll have merchandise she’s been saving for the event, as well as games, prizes, giveaways and discounts on many store items. Piacentini invited a few local authors, including Brenda Hasse, Sara Shanning, Kristiana Sfirlea and Chris Vitarelli, to sign and sell books.

 “Got a lot of good stuff that we kind of hid away,” she said. “It’s going to be a fun day for everyone to come out.”

 Because of the pandemic, they won’t be able to have food and drinks available like they wanted, but Piacentini said it’s a challenge to get creative.

 Expect more information to be posted on the Fenton’s Open Book social media. Piacentini also said she’s planning to host Witches Night this year, and she’s reached out to multiple businesses about it.

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