EAST LIVERPOOL – A happy new chapter is being written to delight local book readers. History is about to be made anew. The lack of a local bookstore will be an exonerated mystery. A love story unfolds, a classic story that true page-turners can’t put down. It is definitely a best seller.
The Way Station announced it is opening a used bookstore next door to the 125 W. Fifth St. store. their thrift in East Liverpool. The yet-to-be-announced bookstore opening is set for Veterans Day weekend. Supporters will have the chance to receive free books if they come up with a winning name for the new bookshop. (Note that new books can be purchased at The Pear Tree Shop, a new store at 433 Broadway.)
Volunteers have been working for several weeks to transform the old Turquoise Tables store into a cozy bookcase. For the convenience of patrons, the most popular fiction authors are grouped separately, and other fiction is in alpha order by author. Section categories include non-fiction, biography, history, sports, fantasy, Christian fiction, Christian non-fiction, how-to, classics, humor, languages, art, music, large print, poetry , politics, science, cookbooks, Christmas, animals, coffee table books, children’s books, old magazines and others.
The prices are very low, with hard disks selling for $1, software for 50 cents, and children’s books for 25 cents.
Opening sales days are set for Thursday, Nov. 9, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, November 10, 9am to 6pm; and Saturday, November 11, 9 a.m. to noon.
After the opening, the store will resume a regular schedule of hours of 10 am to 2 pm three days a week, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; noon to 6 p.m. Thursday; and the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon. The first monthly Saturday hours are December 3rd.
Donated books can be taken to the bookstore or dropped off at the thrift store during normal hours.
The organizer of the new bookstore is Caren Miller, who recently coordinated a large used book sale over four years at the Northside Community Church, raising $16,000 to support a Christian mission hospital in Kenya.
Tammy Blackburn, director of operations at The Way Station in East Liverpool, said the thrift store had struggled with books because it received far more by donation than staff had to organize or place to display. Miller had been working with the staff toward the idea of holding occasional book sales in a back storage area.
That plan recently changed when Ed Sferra, a pastor and businessman from Columbiana, sold The Way Station the building he had let it occupy for several years rent-free, paying utilities a- only Sferra had previously used the facility for a “street church” mission to minister to and address the needs of downtown residents.
“Pastor Ed was very generous in working with us on loan terms to make the purchase of the property possible,” Blackburn said. “He has a heart for the people of this town. He’s just an angel.”
Another piece that came into its place, Blackburn said, was the recent bequest to The Way Station of a residential house across the street. Proceeds from the sale of that building helped the organization reach 75 percent of its fundraising goal to purchase the building.
The store that houses the used bookstore was previously home to the Turquoise Tables store.
“Turquoise Tables: A Gathering Place on Fifth, the small shop with a big heart for our community, recently decided to close to focus even more on helping those in need in our community through the their ministry at Taigh nan Gràs,” said Chaney Nezbeth, executive director of The Way Station Inc. “We were sad to see them go but we know we will continue to partner together to make a difference here in East Liverpool.”
Blackburn noted that “Just before this came about, 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 bookshelves, and the volunteers who cleaned, painted and decorated the new store, who carried many heavy cartons of books and organized them on shelves and tables.
The Way Station is described as “a non-profit organization that exists as a community resource for families and individuals in need, while demonstrating the love of Jesus in practical ways. “
For information about The Way Station’s free programs and volunteer opportunities, people can call Blackburn at 330 383 6497 or stop in at the Fifth Street office and thrift store during business hours.
Keeping with the theme of the book, Nezbeth said to remind those who are going through difficult times to have faith. “This is just a chapter in the book of your life. It’s not the title,” she said.