When someone walks into Irvington Vinyl and Books, owner Elysia Smith hopes that they’re ready for some exploration.

“The motto of the shop is to dig,” Smith says. “The definition of dig is A) the act of uncovering that which is buried, or B) to appreciate and enjoy. I want that process of uncovering that which is buried to be something you appreciate and enjoy.”

Located at 9 Johnson Avenue in Indy’s Irvington neighborhood, Irvington Vinyl and Books carries a vast selection of new and used books and LPs. Once the home of Bookmamas and Irvington Vinyl, Irvington Vinyl and Books has held 60 different community events since opening its doors on June 30, 2018, including concerts, poetry readings and more.

When she first opened the shop, Smith really wanted to provide a literary hub for local writers.

“There was a gap for poets to think about their craft and to be in an environment that supported them,” Smith says. That’s what the initial aim of the shop was, but it’s grown to be a lot more than that.”

When it comes to the shop’s book selection, Smith strives to carry a wide array of works by women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. As for records, Smith says Irvington Vinyl and Books has chosen to focus more on its used selection.

Records at Irvington Vinyl and Books

Image credit: The Local Radish/Brittany Darr-Spencer

“If I buy something that’s new on vinyl, it’s because it is an important record,” Smith says. “I leave that stuff to Square Cat Vinyl, Luna Music, and Indy CD & Vinyl because that’s not our bag. Our bag is curating a really dope used collection.”

In continuing to celebrate the store’s one-year anniversary, Smith looks to facilitate more unique events in her shop. On Wednesday, Sept. 25, for example, she will host a reading from critically acclaimed poet Sherwin Bitsui.

For a complete listing of events happening at the shop, be sure to visit Irvington Vinyl and Books’ official Facebook page.