Kathleen Angelone has been abandoned in Germany, served as an attorney for Indiana Department of Revenue, volunteered all over the world, and calls Irvington home. She owns and operates Bookmamas at 9 Johnson on the south side of Washington Street.
Bookmamas originated with Kate Ayers and Amy LaCroix on the north side of Washington Street. Kate and Amy moved the store once more before settling into its current home. Kathleen bought it once they were ready to sell in October 2007.
Kathleen is no stranger to the east side. Her mother graduated from Warren Central, her family helped to establish German Church at East Washington Street and German Church Road (named after this church), and the congregation is currently building their new church on land donated to them by her uncle.
After touring the world and establishing herself as an attorney, Kathleen moved to Irvington to open her own law practice. Once her children entered high school, she became an attorney for the Indiana DOR. After she bought the store, she worked as a classroom assistant in IPS to give herself more time to start the bookstore.
Why would she leave her legal career to buy a bookstore, especially in an age of so much digital reading?
As a child, Kathleen’s mother would take her to the library but would only ever buy books for her brother, not her. When her mother was dying, she asked her why. Kathleen’s mother told her she had always read as a child and didn’t need encouragement. While this thought made perfect sense once shared, it was never something that occurred to her.
Kathleen then used her inheritance to buy a bookstore. She shared, “Opportunity came along, and I did it. Then I had to figure out how to make it work.” She compared the experience to a jigsaw puzzle; she made all the pieces fit together.
After traveling alone in Germany for a month as a sophomore in college, Kathleen planned to meet up with a friend who was carrying her ticket to Russia. The friend left the country without her, which she would find out later. Despite her name being on their list, she was not permitted to board. After this travel-weary 19-year-old exhausted her persuasive skills to no avail, she found a spot on the floor and started crying. Thanks to two guardian angels in business suits, she could board and make it to her next leg of the trip.
Whether you want to chat about faraway countries, Kathleen’s upcoming trips, or the newest paperback, she is sure to entertain and educate you!
- She can be found at the Irvington Farmers Markets at Ellenberger Park this summer.
- She has plans to meet Stephen King this month.
- Kids can win prizes with this summer’s Where’s Waldo Scavenger Hunt, while supporting our local businesses.
- Watch for upcoming book signings and other fun events on her Facebook page!
How long have you lived and/or worked in Irvington?
I moved to Irvington in 1977 and haven’t left. I have owned Bookmamas since 2007.
What do you do for fun?
I read, go to museums, walk, swim, and spend time with friends. Historical fiction is my favorite genre. Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, Crime and Punishment, Fahrenheit 451, and Little Women are my favorite five books.
What’s your favorite walk, bike ride, or view in the neighborhood?
I love Irving Circle. They’re such a community thing. I attend the concerts when I can, but I’m usually at the store on those days. Sometimes I’m too tired to walk over there after a long day.
If you were Mayor of Irvington for a day, what would you do first?
I would organize a great big parade with floats of everybody marching down Washington Street like Mardi Gras. The witches would be doing their thing, the library would come out with their carts doing a choreographed dance, people would be dressed up, and everyone would be happy for the day.
What’s your connection to IDO?
I am a member of the Irvington Business Association.