If everything goes according to plan, Richard Wunsch soon will be running a second business out of his current store, Volume One Books at 98 North Broad St. in downtown Hillsdale.
Wunsch filed paperwork this week to start a new business called, “Book, Art, & Spiritual Center of Hillsdale.”
The bookstore will remain “Volume One Books,” but the new business will reflect the existing tri-fold nature of what goes on in the bookstore: book sales, upstairs art studio, and spiritual and political discussion groups held in the evenings.
“A lot of it is just to make the name reflect the reality,” Wunsch said. “A lot of the stuff going on here is community stuff, art stuff.”
On Mondays, employees host “political night” for a small circle of locals who want to talk about politics. On Tuesdays, they have “spiritual night” for people to discuss spirituality. Wednesdays and Saturdays are karaoke nights, and Fridays are open microphone night for poetry reading and music with a local pianist.
Main spiritual night organizer and employee Ian DeBacker said the gatherings usually begin around 7 p.m., and attract between 5 – 10 people.
“We, as an institution, are a non-affiliated spiritual center. We’ve been reaching out to the community for the last three years,” DeBacker said.
Anyone from “all walks of life” is welcome, Debacker said. He said that he represents St. Francis of Assisi because of his Catholicism, but the emphasis is on general spirituality rather than organized religion. Wunsch also said they do not push any one doctrine on the attendees of the events.
“I guess if there’s a doctrine, it’s that you can’t tell people what to believe,” he said. “We’re all looking to achieve a better understanding of ourselves and world and what may be behind the world as far as spirituality and things like that.”
Artist Jim Foster said the activities reflect Wunsch’s “humanitarian” worldview. During the cold winter months, he said, the store serves as a safe haven from the cold.
“People come in off the streets just to get warm,” he said, “and we feed them soup. We give them a place to stay. We try to take care of them.”
DeBacker said the main reason for the event is to provide a place for people to voice their opinions and learn from each other.
“People normally don’t talk about politics and religion, but here we do,” DeBacker said.