EAST LIVERPOOL – A happy new chapter is being written to please local book readers. History has to be recreated. The lack of local used bookstores will be a mystery. A love story will blossom, a classic that no true page-turner can put down. It’s sure to become a bestseller.
Halfway Station has announced that it will open a second-hand bookstore next door to its thrift store at 125 W. Fifth St. in East Liverpool. The as-yet-unnamed bookstore will open on Veterans Day weekend. If customers come up with the winning name for the new bookstore, they’ll have the chance to win free books. (Note that new books are available at The Pear Tree Shop, a new store at 433 Broadway.)
Volunteers have been working for several weeks to transform the former Turquoise Tables storefront into a cozy book corner. For the convenience of readers, authors of the most popular novels are grouped separately, while other novels are listed alphabetically by author. Some categories include Nonfiction, Biography, History, Sports, Fantasy, Christian Fiction, Christian Nonfiction, How-To, Classics, Humor, Language, Art, Music, Large Print, Poetry, Politics, Science, Recipes, Christmas, Animals, Coffee table books, children’s books, vintage magazines and more.
Prices are moderate, ranging from $1 for hardcovers, 50 cents for softcovers, and 25 cents for children’s books.
Open sales are scheduled for Thursday, November 9, 9am-5pm; Friday, November 10, 9am-6pm; and Saturday, November 11, 9-noon.
Once opened, the store will begin normal business hours three days a week, 10am to 2pm, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; Thursday noon to 6pm; and the first Saturday of each month from 9am to noon. The first Saturday of the month is December 3rd.
Donated books can be brought to bookstores during normal hours or discarded at thrift stores.
The organizer of the new bookstore is Karen Miller, who over the last four years has coordinated a massive used book sale at Northside Community Church, raising $16,000 to support a Christian mission hospital in Kenya.
Tammy Blackburn, head of East Liverpool operations at The Way Station, said the thrift store had problems with books because it received far more donations than staff or display space needed to organise. Miller has been working with staff on the idea of holding regular book sales in the back storage area.
That plan changed recently, when Colombian-born minister and businessman Ed Sferra sold the building he had allowed it to use free for years to Midway, paying only for utilities. Sferra has previously used the facility for “Street Church” The mission of primarily serving and fulfilling the needs of downtown residents.
“Pastor Ed has been very generous in working with us to make the purchase of the building possible on loan terms,” Blackburn said. “He has a heart for the people in this town. He’s just an angel.”
Another piece that came to fruition, Blackburn said, was a recent bequest to a home across the street. Funds from the sale of the property helped the organization reach 75% of its fundraising goal for the purchase of the building.
The storefront that now houses the used bookstore was formerly the site of the Turquoise Tables store.
“The Turquoise Tables: A Gathering Place on Fifth, a small shop with a great heart for our community, recently decided to close to focus more on helping those in need in our community through their ministry at Grace House people,” said Chaney Nezbeth, executive director of The Way Station Inc. “It’s sad to see them leave us but we know we will continue to work together and make a difference at East Liverpool.”
Blackburn pointed out “Just before all this happened, Karen Miller said to me, wouldn’t it be great if we had our own little space to open a bookstore?”
Miller thanked the people who donated books and shelves, as well as the volunteers who cleaned, painted and decorated the new store, who carried the many heavy cardboard boxes of books and placed them on the shelves and tables.
The halfway station is described as “A non-profit organization that exists as a community resource for families and individuals in need, while reflecting the love of Jesus in practical ways.”
For information on The Way Station’s free programmes and volunteer opportunities, people can contact Blackburn on 330 383 6497 or visit the Fifth Street office and thrift store during business hours.
In keeping with the themes of the book, Nezbeth says to remind those who are going through difficult times to have faith. “It’s just a chapter in your life book. It’s not the title,” she says.