The Library Bookstore, 194 Front Street Website
When did you begin the enterprise? (and where if not Bath)
Featured business, The Library Bookstore opened in May 2007 at 194 Front St. in Bath and is open from 10 – 4pm on Mon. – Sat. The Friends of Patten Free Library sponsor the store and all proceeds benefit the Library.
The purpose of The Library Bookstore is multifaceted. The store not only provides another revenue stream for PFL, but also gives the community a second outlet to: find books on numerous subjects for all ages, recycle books to other bibliophiles, keep used books out of the trash stream, engage volunteers who act as ambassadors for PFL, and be open all day Mondays and Saturday afternoons in the summer, when the Library is closed.
What do you offer?
The Library Bookstore sells gently used books, DVDs, CDs and puzzles that have been donated by members of the community, organized into categories for easy browsing, and sold at bargain prices. As customers point out, the high quality and variety of books, excellent lighting and comfortable chairs add to the ambiance of the store.
Why do you love Bath?
Bath’s “down town” offers a compact, diversified business district along the Kennebec River. That’s a combination that is hard to beat. In just a few blocks you can satisfy most needs and meet friendly people. The train station next to Bath Iron Works and Patten Free Library in Library Park anchor the south and north ends respectively.
What might surprise someone about you or your business?
You may be surprised by the number of books that get donated every year. In addition to the gently used books that are sorted and added to the bookstore shelves daily, other books are destined for the Heritage Days Book Sale over the 4th of July. These books are packed into boxes in categories, transported, and stored at a separate location before completing their journey to the sale. Thus, approximately 1,200 boxes or 24,400 books are handled each year.
The dedication of fifty volunteers, who donate time to make the bookstore possible and successful, may also be surprising. Additionally, the children’s area with its own table and chairs has become a favorite destination for many families.
What are you excited about in the coming year?
In May of 2017 the library bookstore will complete its 10th year. This milestone is exciting, but so are the increased numbers of summer visitors who intentionally return to the bookstore each year and customers who come from a larger area around Bath. Finally, the growing net income from $15,000 the first year to $25,000 this past year raised by the library bookstore for PFL keeps this small non-profit business on task.