From the time she and a former partner decided to sell books at a nearby flea market in Queens, the Brooklyn-born, Queens-bred bookworm has started her own bookstore and became the founder of a one-of-a-kind book fair in Queens.
The fair, held every year at the Farmer's Market on Jamaica Avenue, is a way for Rogers to promote upcoming and established authors based in Queens. This year, the fair, dubbed “April is book month in Queens,” will feature roughly 10 authors and will be held on April 30.
But before the fair was brought to life, it wasn't a smooth ride.
In 2006, Rogers had formed a bookstore in Flushing with her friend called C&B Books. It stemmed out of them selling old books at the St. Nick's flea market on Parsons and Union Turnpike.
“It was a spring cleaning; we'd go and sell the books and we always sold all of them,” she said. “People would ask if we could get them this or that.”
So she decided to meet the people's demand. With help from local book stores like D&J Books on Merrick Boulevard, Rogers was able to satisfy her newfound customers.
But the bookstore soon shut down. After a while, Rogers got inspiration from the Harlem Book Fair to bring a book fair to Queens. “I said, 'let me try this in Queens and see what happens,' and the rest is history,” she said.
Although Queens isn't known for a notable book scene, Rogers notes that there is one in the borough, even though it's more reserved. “It was always there but no one knew,” she said.
Many of Rogers' featured authors hail from Queens and she now gathers authors through sites like Facebook, where she does her marketing.
Rogers also plans to soon start a program for young kids so that they could enjoy the benefits of reading early. “I had a children's group in Flushing where they would come and read,” said the Fresh Meadows resident. “Kids come up to me to this day asking when I'm going to open another book store.”
She is trying to get the funding together to start a program. “It makes you really want to try and do something because when children get it, they go off with it from there,” she said.
Rogers has already received a proclamation from Queens Borough President Helen Marshall for her work. Asked if she plans on writing any books, she said, “I don't think I will write any books, I enjoy helping authors and getting them out.”
For more information visit the fair's website.