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January 24, 2017
Inside The New Used Bookstore in the
New Rochelle Public Library
Lovers of reading keep poking their heads into the used book store at the New Rochelle Public Library and asking; “Are you open?”
Finally, the answer is: Yes!
|Call it the new used bookstore in town. The Friends of the New Rochelle Public Library have built a permanent shop in the Lawton Street side of the lobby. (The timing couldn’t have been better; the newly rebuilt Lawton Street library entrance has just re-opened with all-glass doors for a cleaner, sunnier look.)|
“People are thrilled,” said Betty Berolatti, a Friends volunteer who was selling the books the other day, sitting near one of the trademarks of the group’s sales – a bowl of free candy. “We have reached our goal of opening the book store.”
Suddenly, it’s a great time for book lovers and serial browsers in downtown New Rochelle. First the Barnes & Noble operated with Monroe College opened in New Roc City, offering current titles and classics, their pages still giving off that new book smell.
And now this. A permanent home for the book sales run by the Friends group. The wares are no longer grouped in cardboard boxes on tables out in the open, where they must be covered when not in use. Now they stand on shelves and rest in wooden carts in their own dedicated, more compact space. For now, the bookstore will be open the same hours as the sales – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with larger sales planned one weekend each month. But Amy Tietz, President of the Friends group, says they hope to add hours, depending on how many volunteers they have.
|Ellen Morrell, a patron of the library, was one of the frequent book sale customers who stopped by to affirm the good news that the store was up and running.|
“It provides a wonderful opportunity to recycle reading material into the hands of people who otherwise might not have it,” she said.
The “honor box” and “honor carts” will remain outside the store, available anytime the library is open, for you to pick up mysteries, one-time best sellers and other volumes for as little as 25 cents, Tietz said. As the name suggests, payment is on the honor system.
The store will operate with regular hours selling books from 50 cents up, both well-worn volumes waiting for a new owner to discover their treasures, and those once owned by reverent readers who barely bent the covers.
Shelves are filled with popular books and general fiction, while other works are divided into categories – science fiction, health, children’s activity books, graphic novels, books in foreign languages and on and on. One section holds books signed by the authors. Look for CDs in the top levels of the shelves.
And what you see there is just the tip of the iceberg. The Friends organization stocks some 30,000 books in the library basement to replenish the shelves, Tietz said.
A wood-and-glass case in the store holds more valuable items, including vintage editions of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys adventures, an old edition of Heidi with a cardboard book sleeve, among others. You never know what might come in. The Friends once sold a book signed by Ray Manzarek, keyboardist for The Doors. (Google it, kids.) Another find was a little-known book by J.M. Barrie of “Peter Pan” fame, signed by the author. Among books recently spotted behind glass were painter Norman Rockwell’s one work of fiction, “Willie Was Different,” signed by Rockwell and his wife Molly; and a book about the Neville Brothers signed by all four of the musical siblings.
|One of the best finds currently on display is an early edition of the two-volume “Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant”. Released after the Civil War general and 18th U.S. president died in 1885, the memoirs were among the first books published by the Charles L. Webster & Company, a firm begun by Mark Twain. Popular when they were first published, the memoirs are still in print and well-regarded.|
The funds from the sales support activities at the library, which is more than just a place for books and DVDs – it’s a showcase for art and a gathering place for performances, classes and other programs.
“I couldn’t be more excited about this,” Tietz said about the new book store. “People will be able to come here and pick up reading matter – books they can call their own – very inexpensively. And the funds we raise go directly to the programs that make the library the community center that it is.”
By the way, the group says they can never have too many Friends. They always have room for more volunteers to help sort, price and cart the 1,000 books they receive each week.
Interested? Call the Friends at (914) 813 3705
New Rochelle Public Library
1 Library Plaza, New Rochelle, NY 10801