FORT WAYNE — If success is measured by numbers, Lanni Connelly has more than a few reasons to feel proud.
“I didn’t realize that we were just that place that people loved coming to,“ Connelly said.
And she is realizing just how much her work has meant to the community as she gets ready to walk away from the place that has been like another child.
“You know everyone’s just been coming and telling me how much they’re going to miss me.“
Not only will they miss her. But the used bookstore that for the past two decades has morphed people’s love of books into friendships. Though, after 25 years of holding The Bookmark in place, Connelly is ready to turn the page and begin a new chapter.
“25 years, that was a major goal for me. And I feel like I’m going out on top, so it’s a good time for me, it really is,“ Connelly explained.
It was 1993 when Connelly purchased The Bookmark when it was on Time’s Corner.
After moving locations, she started out with 500 square feet and a small inventory. Fast forward and now the space is four times the size, with more books than she can count. As much as she has enjoyed the ride, she is ready for retirement.
“It’s been a great business. I’ve made a lot of money, I’ve made a lot of friends, it’s just been a great business.“
Packing may not bring her as much joy, but considering the recent news – she may not have to fully say goodbye or any of her clients either.
“As of right now I have another buyer interested in the store. So, I should know soon whether they are going to purchase it or not.“
It would be the perfect ending to Connelly’s story.
“Nothing would thrill me more than to be able to hand off that torch to someone that can keep the business going.“
Connelly tells WANE 15 she hopes to learn of the buyer’s decision in the next couple of days.