Booksmith goes beyond the cliché of the “family business”; it is built out of the life of one family, and has met and merged with hundreds of other families. Its component parts are relationships between parents and children, brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends. In 1986, Patricia and Alan Lightweis moved to Seneca, South Carolina from New Jersey with their four children. Within three years, they had founded a bookstore designed to feed their children’s burgeoning curiosity, which soon managed to sustain a community’s intellectual and artistic interests. By the end of their first decade in business, the Lightweises doubled the square footage of the Booksmith, adding a contract post office, café, and gift shop to the already significant offerings that the store provided its customers. Over time, the Booksmith has grown not only in size, but in stature and function. More than a site of commerce, it is a place to gather and create community.