The first album Paul Nigro purchased was Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” – a good indicator of his classic rock tastes. Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin are among his favorites, with a dose of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young thrown in.
Vinny Nigro’s tastes are more alternative. His playlist includes songs by Fallout Boy, Modest Mouse and Nirvana.
Their tastes intersect in the Beatles and their “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album.
Their tastes also intersect at the corner of East Main and Hampton streets in downtown Rock Hill, where they have opened The Newsstand Records & Books shop.
The venture is a progression of the Nigros’ interest in music. Paul said it started when his young son listened to the swing and jazz music of his grandfather. Several years ago, Vinny started buying used vinyl records, then bought his dad a turntable as a Father’s Day gift to have something to play them on. When he discovered a $20-something record purchase was worth much more, father and son considered their options.
They thought about buying new vinyl records, holding on to them, letting them appreciate in value.
They thought about starting an online record store.
They thought about opening a brick-and-mortar record store.
But they were not sure a record store would sustain itself. They turned to another of Paul’s passion, books. Paul’s interest in books is both personal and professional. He is an English teacher at Northwestern High School.
The result was The Newsstand Records & Books store, open in downtown Rock Hill for about a week.
Be it records or books, father, 54, and son, 24, have the same philosophy. They want people to come in and linger, take advantage of the slower pace and browse the selections.
“We want to appeal to the thinking person,” Paul said. “We want to sell the quality experience.”
They want people to come and touch the goods, admiring the craftsmanship of a book binding or the art on the cover of an album. They want people to take time to read, whether a page or two of literary fiction or the liner notes on the back of a record cover.
So far the inventory is between 3,000 and 4,000 books on a variety of topics and 1,000 albums. They expect the number of books and albums to grow as many of the things they want to sell are on back order.
Like most businesses, they are counting on location. They are across East Main Street from Amélie's bakery. They are hoping Amélie's customers spill over to their new store.
They also hope the upcoming ChristmasVille festival helps build their reputation.
Their business expectations mirror the relaxed atmosphere of their shop.
“We’re not in a big hurry,” Paul said. “We will learn as we go, we haven’t gotten advice at all, we’re winging it,” with Paul in charge of books, Vinny in charge of records and Vinny managing the store.
But most of all, their operative word is “fun,” whether it’s talking books or music.
Want to know more?
The Newsstand Records & Books shop is at 154 E. Main St., Rock Hill. Call 803-389-5250, or email TheNewsstandRockhill@icloud.com