Bookstore Owner Shipley Plans to Seek State House Seat

Mary Gay Shipley, the owner of the That Bookstore in Blytheville, announced Monday that she will run for the District 55 seat in the Arkansas House.

Shipley, 67, told that she will run as a Democrat and was on her way from Blytheville to Little Rock to file the election papers Monday afternoon.

Shipley said supporters urged her to run after she announced that she was putting her iconic bookstore up for sale.

The seat is currently held by Democrat Tommy Baker of Osceola. Baker also served in the House in 2007 and 2009.

In the early 1970s, Shipley opened what would become That Bookstore and built it into landmark for readers. She also helped launch the careers of several authors, including John Grisham.

In 2008, the Associated Press travel editor listed That Bookstore among nine "destination" bookstores, putting it in the company of the legendary The Strand in New York.

In 2009, She was also named one of Arkansas Business' top 25 Entrepreneurs & Innovators.