Books Matter: Allison Frenzel

March is National Reading Month, a whole month designated to encouraging Americans – and by extension Wacoans – to read! The Act Locally Waco blog is beating the drum for National Reading Month by hosting a blog series throughout the month of March, called “Books Matter.” Every day throughout March we will be sharing a post about a Waco resident and a book that matters to him/her.  Thank you to students from the Baylor Department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media and professor Amber Adamson for help with this fun project.  To read all the blog posts so far, click here.

By Lucy Ruscitto

 Allison Frenzel, co-owner of the Fabled Book Shop & Cafe says books are “the best way to experience a life you might never experience… allow[ing] the imagination to hope outside its boundaries of regular life.”

The next novel Frenzel believes that Wacoans should dedicate their time to is The Which Way Tree. Frenzel said she listened to Elizabeth Crook’s novel on audio and became “enraptured in the magic of it.”

“It’s a Western. I love a strong woman and adventure,” Frenzel said. “I recommend this book to all Wacoans because it’s a story that has a little bit of magic. As a piece of art, it was so beautiful.”

Frenzel’s understanding of the importance of literacy contributed to her drive to open a book store with Kimberly Batson.

“This is a town full of readers,” Frenzel said. “What if we had this place that could be a hub?”

Frenzel said when researching what the store’s name should be, she and Batson, co-owner of both Fabled and Common Grounds,  intentionally deliberated.

“We love the aspect Texas is known for, which is the tall-tale,” Frenzel said. “[Fabled] celebrates the nostalgia of fairytales and magic.”

Frenzel said the opening of the shop was “ironic” for her, as her son was diagnosed with dyslexia as the launch occurred. At first, she said she struggled knowing he would battle with something that often came naturally to other children his age.

“It really is a disability,” Frenzel said. “But then, we realized there’s so many strengths people with dyslexia have.”

Frenzel said that this was her motivation for opening Fabled.

“We better have really good books… that he feels are worth muscling through. Because of it, he loves to read. He just knows it’s hard work,” Frenzel said.

Frenzel acknowledges the diverse Waco community in their book inventory with the “shelf that celebrates brains that are different,” meant for children just like her son and others who feel excluded from reading.

“I want kids to come in and see books [and] say, ‘Hey! That person on the cover looks like me!’” she said. “Reading is for everybody.”

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