Learn about Moorhead’s newest independent bookstore, More Than Words!
If you’re a book-lover in the FM area, you’ve probably heard of the new independent bookstore in Moorhead, More Than Words. You may have even heard the personal story behind the store’s name, and how owner Sydni Kreps has been dreaming of starting a bookstore for as long as she can remember. But did you know that Sydni envisions her bookstore to be a community hub for residents of the area? We sat down with her to learn more about how More Than Words is going to continue to inspire and connect community members as the store develops in the coming months and years, and here’s what we learned!
Sydni's Lifelong Connection to Fargo-Moorhead
“I’m a lifelong Fargoan! And both of my parents actually grew up in Moorhead. I graduated from Davies High School and then hopped across the river to study multimedia journalism & communication at Concordia College. My first postgrad job was as a communications coordinator in Moorhead too. Growing up, I felt certain that I would move away, but something always seemed to keep me here—and wow, I’m so happy about that now! Fargo-Moorhead has evolved a lot since I was a kid and I’m glad I stuck around to witness it. I’m eager to see how this community continues to evolve in the years ahead—especially as a small business owner here now!
How More Than Words Became More than Just A Dream
“I’ve dreamed of opening my own bookshop for as long as I can remember! I actually took my first step toward a bookish career when I went back to grad school at NDSU to become an English teacher. But, nothing about that went according to plan—the week before my first year teaching, my dad was killed in a car accident and, as you can imagine, that changed everything. The grief eventually caught up with me in a big way and I had to take a leave from teaching to take care of myself. I did a lot of reflecting during that time and had an epiphany one night while looking at a tattoo I’d gotten in my dad’s handwriting that said ‘more than words’—he said that phrase a lot, like ‘I love you more than words.’ I realized that for so many reasons, ‘more than words’ was the perfect name for the bookshop I’d always dreamed of—and I also had a new understanding of just how short life can be, so I decided to go for it. And here we are! Our logo is the same as the tattoo that started it all, and now my dad’s handwriting greets me every day when I walk into the shop. It’s a reminder of his ‘more than words’ love despite his absence, and it’s also a reminder that books are so much more than just words too. Reading offers so many opportunities for guidance, comfort, exploration, and understanding, and I’m beyond grateful to be able to spend my days helping others find the right books for whatever they might be needing in life.”
More Than "Just" A Bookshop
“More Than Words is an inclusive space for all readers—whether you’re an avid one or trying to become one. Everyone is welcome and respected here! We’re continually working to make sure our shelves reflect our community while also offering new perspectives to consider too. I like to think of the bookshop as hopefully more of a community gathering space rather than just a retail store. So far, we’ve loved sharing our space with book clubs in the community looking for somewhere to meet, using it to host fun events that provide an opportunity for fellow book lovers to connect, and offering a cozy place for people to sit and chat with a friend or even get some work or studying done. We’ve also had fun collaborating with some schools by inviting students into the shop, hosting book fairs, and being involved with book studies!”
Events, Partnerships, & The Future of Community At More Than Words
“It’s still very early days with the bookshop—we’re about 3 months old! So, we’re beyond eager to continue learning what the FM community needs and to keep creating fun, new opportunities for connection. As a former teacher, I’m especially looking forward to continuing to build relationships with local schools, educators, and students. We’re also excited about kicking off our own More Than Words book club very soon as well as some programming for younger readers to enjoy. The list of events, workshops, and other activities we hope to host is long and I can’t wait to get started! If you’re reading this and you have an idea for how we might collaborate or make some magic happen, please reach out—I mean it! I’d love to brainstorm with you!”
Sydni and the More Than Words family have a lot of community plans, but the most important part of them all is YOU! She couldn’t do it without the support of her community. Check out your newest local independent bookstore by visiting the shop in person or online!