EAST LIVERPOOL – A happy new chapter is being written to delight local book readers. History must be reworked. The lack of a local used book store will be a mystery. A love story will blossom, a classic story that true page-turners can’t put down. It is sure to be a bestseller.
The Way Station has announced that it is opening a thrift store next door to its 125 W. Fifth St. thrift store. in East Liverpool. The as-yet-unnamed bookstore is slated to open on Veterans Day weekend. Patrons will have a chance to win free books if they come up with a winning name for the new bookstore. (Note that the new books can be purchased at The Pear Tree Shop, a new store at 433 Broadway.)
Volunteers worked for several weeks to transform the former Turquoise Tables storefront into a cozy book corner. For the convenience of visitors, the most popular fiction authors are listed separately, while the rest of the 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, Club Books coffee tables, children’s books, vintage magazines and more.
Prices are modest, with hardcovers selling for $1, paperbacks for 50 cents, children’s books for 25 cents.
Opening sale days are set for Thursday, November 9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, November 10 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Saturday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. to noon.
After the opening, the store will start operating according to the regular schedule from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm three days a week, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays; Thursday from 12:00 to 18:00; and every first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The first monthly Saturday classes will be on Dec. 3.
Donated books can be brought to the bookstore during normal business hours or dropped off at a used store.
The organizer of the new bookstore is Caren Miller, who for the past four years has coordinated the sale of large quantities of used books 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 second-hand bookshop was struggling with books because it received far more in donations than it had the staff to organize or the space to display. Miller worked with the staff toward the idea of having occasional book sales at the warehouse.
That plan recently changed when Ed Sferra, a Columbiana minister and businessman, sold The Way Station the building, allowing it to occupy it for several years rent-free and paying only utilities. Sferra previously used the facility for a “street church” the mission to serve and address the needs of the residents of the city center in particular.
“Pastor Ed was very generous in working with us under the terms of the loan to make the purchase of the building possible,” Blackburn said. “He has a heart for the people of this town. He’s just an angel.”
Another piece that fell into place, Blackburn said, was the recent legacy of the apartment building across the street from The Way Station. Money from the sale of that property helped the organization reach 75 percent of its fundraising goal to purchase the building.
The storefront, which now houses a used book store, was formerly the home of Turquoise Tables.
“The Turquoise Tables: A Gathering Place on Fifth, a small store with a big heart for our community, recently decided to close to focus even more on helping those in need in our community through their 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 noted this “Right before all of this happened, Caren Miller said to me, wouldn’t it be great if we could have 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, carrying many heavy cartons of books and arranging them on shelves and tables.
The intermediate 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 a practical way.”
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 thrift store during business hours.
In keeping with the book’s theme, Nezbeth said it reminds those going through hard times to have faith. “This is just a chapter in your book of life. It’s not about the title,” she said.