Bath bookstore marks 10 years as library appendix

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BATH — Thanks to the Library Bookstore, hundreds of thousands of texts have received a second chance to make a first impression.

The 194 Front St. shop, which celebrates its 10th anniversary Saturday, May 6, has increased net profits on used book sales from $16,000 in 2007 to $24,000 this year, according to a press release from manager Sandy Weiss.

In that time, 37,500 customers have bought 88,300 items, with proceeds going to the Patten Free Library.

The books the store receives in donations are too numerous to be included on the shelves, and instead go to the Friends of the Patten Free Library’s four-day Heritage Days book sale. Through the annual sale 200,000 marked-down books have been sold and kept out of the city landfill, according to Weiss.

More information on the store, open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, can be found at patten.lib.me.us/library-bookstore.

Weiss was director of development at the 33 Summer St. library when the Friends conceived the idea of starting a related book store. The Arrowsic resident managed the store as part of her role as director and, leaving the library two years later, continued to run the shop, she said in an interview Monday.

“We were doing it as a monetary advancement for the library’s budget,” she said. “It’s sort of a continuous piece that I’m enjoying.”

The Friends sponsor and staff the store. The operation involves about 90 volunteers between store operations and the Heritage Days sale, Weiss said.

As opposed to being a repository for old books for which the library no longer has any use, the store relies on the plentiful donations. The store never wanted to present books that had the plastic covers and Dewey Decimal designations associated with library books, Weiss explained.

Books most appropriate for the store are displayed immediately, while those best offered in a yard sale at a more reduced cost are stored until Heritage Days in July.

The anniversary celebration, to be held at the store during Bath’s annual Mayfair event, takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors can color a large number 10 or make their own picture, as well as try their hand at the “Shredded Book Contest” in order to win a $10 gift certificate.

Weiss has shredded an already-damaged book and stuffed it in a see-through jar, with lines from the story visible on the outside, testing people to guess the name of the book. There’s one jar for adults, and one for young adults – both of which will be out through the end of May.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Sandy Weiss has managed the Library Bookstore since it opened a decade ago. The Bath shop will celebrate its 10th anniversary May 6.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.