Post Written by Cyndy Graham
Tech Bookstore has been a fixture in downtown Blacksburg since 1986, and manager George Daniels has
been there for most of its 26 year history.
Housed in a building on Main Street that was once a night club, Tech Bookstore has grown and changed over the years to adapt to the changing tastes of their customers and the digital revolution. When asked how it is to be so closely associated with a business in downtown, Mr. Daniels calls it “a blessing.” He says that the downtown merchants have a
healthy competition, but they also want each other to succeed. Comparing the atmosphere to the essence of being a Hokie, he describes the “family feeling” he gets from being so closely associated with other downtown businesses. When I asked George why someone would shop at Tech Bookstore, his answer was first and foremost, service. I was greeted warmly when I entered the store and the employees appear to enjoy their jobs and each other.
Tech Bookstore is now owned by Neebo, a book company located in Nebraska that owns over 280 campus bookstores nationwide. I remember my days as a VT student (quite a long time ago!) when the only way to purchase textbooks was to go to the bookstore and buy books‐with cash! Now that everything is digital and plastic has more‐or‐less replaced cash, Neebo allows Tech Bookstore to offer a myriad of book buying/selling opportunities. Find the textbook you need on Amazon for less? Tech Bookstore will match the price! Would rather rent than buy? You can do that too!
The entrance to the store is like none other downtown. You descend down a grand staircase, and you instantly see the whole store and all it has to offer. The uniqueness of the building comes from its former life as a night club. In my college days, the place to be was “After Sundown,” especially on College Night. Once the drinking age was raised to 21, the business was no longer able to survive, but a part of the place did. The service desk at Tech Bookstore is the actual wooden bar from “After Sundown” that was saved when the building was renovated. Preserving the past while adapting for the future could describe Tech Bookstore as well as the whole downtown Blacksburg community.
Tech Bookstore is located in the heart of downtown Blacksburg and is a strong supporter of many Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. events such as First Friday Read around the Town- during which Mayor Rordam joined Jerry Diffel in reading Dr. Suess books to local children. Tech Bookstore provides their parking lot venue for use by non- profit vendors, hula hoopers, dog parades, chef demos,Honda’s, Harleys and Scooters and more during First Fridays, Summer Solstice Fest and Steppin’ Out and also donate the use of the electricity needed to run the Main Stage during Summer Solstice Fest. This year they even accommodated the large Solar Panels set up by Solar Connexions which were used to power Rita’s Ices during Summer Solstice Fest! Tech Bookstore also provided hours of fun for attendees with the Inflatable football touchdown game during the Downtown Tailgate.