You have to give Opal and Carlos Salas props for the name of their new bookstore: Cliff Notes Prolonged Media. Aside from the nifty play on words, Opal Salas says the name means "we’re prolonging the life of the written word." Basically, it’s a used bookstore. The Salases were longtime employees of Half Price Books — Opal worked on the retail side for seven years, and Carlos was in warehouse and distribution for 12 years. The 300-square-foot bookstore on Tyler Street, which they expect to open in the first week of October, is a business they’ve been dreaming about.
The Salases are spoken-word poets. About 15 years ago, when Opal was still green on the poetry scene, a guy named Richard Sevrens approached her after a performance. He said he liked her poem and to stick with spoken word. "He’s one of the first people to encourage me like that, and he is probably the reason I stayed with it," she says. Sevrens and the Salases became close friends. Sevrens died in April at 77, and he left the Salases his library along with "a little nest egg," Opal says. She had been laid off, so she and Carlos decided to put Sevrens’s money and his books into a bookstore.
Opal Salas says she wants Cliff Notes to serve the local poetry community. Poets can sell or give away their chapbooks, and she hopes it will serve as a centerpoint for poets. "We just want to be available to some of our friends so that they can get their work out there," she says.