EAST LIVERPOOL – We’re writing a happy new chapter to delight local book readers. History is to be written anew. The lack of a local used book store will be a mystery. A love story blossoms, a classic story that page-turners can’t tear themselves away from. It is sure to be a bestseller.
Way Station announced it is opening a used bookstore next door to its 125 W. Fifth St. a thrift store in East Liverpool. The as-yet-unnamed bookstore is scheduled to open on Veterans Day weekend. Patrons will have the chance to win free books if they come up with a winning name for the new bookstore. (Please note that the new books are available for purchase at The Pear Tree Shop, the new store at 433 Broadway.)
Volunteers have been working for several weeks to transform the former Turquoise Tables store into a cozy book corner. For the convenience of customers, the most popular fiction authors are grouped separately, while other fictions are in alpha order by author. Section categories include nonfiction, biography, history, sports, fantasy, Christian fiction, Christian nonfiction, how-to, classics, humor, languages, art, music, large print, poetry, politics, science, cookbooks, Christmas, pets, conference tables, children’s books, vintage magazines and others.
Prices are modest, with hardcovers selling for $1, paperbacks for 50 cents, and children’s books for 25 cents.
The opening days of the sale are set for Thursday, November 9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, November 10 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, November 11 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Once open, the store will begin regular business hours of 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. three days a week, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; Thursday from noon to 6:00 p.m.; and the first Saturday of the month from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The first monthly Saturday classes will be on December 3.
Donated books can be brought to the bookstore or dropped off at the brick-and-mortar store during regular opening hours.
The organizer of the new bookstore is Caren Miller, who has coordinated a large used book sale for the past four years at Northside Community Church, raising $16,000 to support the Christian Mission Hospital in Kenya.
Tammy Blackburn, director of operations at The Way Station in east Liverpool, said the store was struggling with books because it had received far more donations than it had the staff to organize or the space to display. Miller worked with the staff on the idea of holding regular book sales in the back of the warehouse.
That plan recently changed when Ed Sferra, a Colombian minister and businessman, sold The Way Station a building that he allowed it to occupy for several years rent-free, paying only utilities. Sferra previously used the device for a “street church” with the mission to serve and solve the needs of the residents of the city center.
“Pastor Ed was very generous in working with us on the terms of the loan to purchase the building,” Blackburn said. “He has a heart for the people of this city. He’s just an angel.”
Another piece that fell into place, Blackburn said, was the recent reference to The Way Station residential building across the street. The money from the sale of this property helped the organization reach 75 percent of its fundraising goal to purchase the building.
The storefront that now houses the used book store was formerly home to Turquoise Tables.
“Turquoise Tables: The Meeting Place on Fifth, a small business with a big heart for our community, recently decided to close to focus even more on helping those in need in our community through its ministry at The House of Grace.” said Chaney Nezbeth, CEO of The Way Station Inc. “We were sad to see them go, but we know we will continue to work together to make a difference here in East Liverpool.”
Blackburn noticed “Right before all of this happened, Caren Miller said to me, wouldn’t it be great if we had our own little space for a bookstore?”
Miller thanked the people who donated books and shelves, as well as the volunteers who cleaned, painted and decorated the new store, carrying many heavy cartons of books and stacking them on shelves and tables.
The raid 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 about The Way Station’s free programs and volunteer opportunities, people can contact Blackburn at 330.383.6497 or stop by the Fifth Street office and store during business hours.
In keeping with the book’s theme, Nezbeth said to remind those going through difficult times of faith. “This is just a chapter in your book of life. It’s not a title,” she said.