Over the Transom Bookstore, in its ninth year of operation, is open for business at 9 North Church Street in lovely downtown Fairhope, Alabama. As the writer’s life became busier for Sonny Brewer, he found less and less time to tend shop at the bookstore. So, now he’s turned over the reins of the business to Martin Lanaux. “I have only a quiet interest in the day-to-day operations, but stop in almost everyday.”
“I find it appropriate,” says Sonny, “that Martin is now the bookseller at Over the Transom. The sequence of events that brings us to this point has a nice circular flow.” Sonny talks about that first year he decided to open a bookstore, that he had only limited funds and that retail shop rent in Fairhope was expensive.
“I loved this storefront right on Section Street in a delightful historical building that was once the Masonic Hall back at the turn of the century. It was an insurance office. So, I had the audacity to stop in and ask the insurance man if he’d like to share his space with me. That was Martin Lanaux.” Sonny says that he and Martin knew each other only casually then, but he and Martin, following that conversation about a place for the bookstore, became very good friends.
“Martin was a constant visitor in Over the Transom when we got the shop going.” He later managed the bookstore for Sonny, then set up his own used and rare book concern as Martin Lanaux, Bookseller, actually sharing store space with Sonny. Now, Martin Lanaux conducts Over the Transom. The emphasis is on used books, though Martin carries copies of Sonny’s new books, and sends people up the street to Page & Palette Bookstore when he doesn’t have what they want.
“Martin is a true bibliophile, and a gentleman bookseller. He serves on Fairhope’s library board, and is a beacon on the literary landscape,” Sonny says. “The telephone number is the same, 251-990-7980, and the bookstore is open everyday except Sunday. Everybody is invited, and encouraged, to check in at Over the Transom to see what’s going on in the book world, or to shop Martin’s eclectic titles, which can also be viewed on-line at abebooks.com.