BY ANGELINA MARTIN
Most books are bought shiny and new, fresh from the bookstore, but sometimes a bit of magic can be found in the pages of a novel that has been around for a while. The Friends of the Turlock Public Library Book Bin believes just that, offering a variety of used books ranging from art books to collectible classics.
FOTPL raises supplementary funds for the library through means such as the Book Bin.
Nestled into a cozy corner of The Gallery Finesse Antique Store and Art Gallery, the Book Bin accepts book donations of all kinds which are then sold to the public at an affordable price. Gallery Finesse takes half of the profit, and the other half is given to the FOTPL, who use the funds to purchase new books, tapes and entertainment (magicians, presentations, etc.) for children in the community.
“The store is unique because the books are all donated by the public,” said FOTPL member Hanna Renning. “People are generous enough to want to invest in the community.”
Books at the Book Bin are typically between $1 and $3, but Renning’s fellow FOTPL member Dorothy Finnegan researches each individual book to see what their asking prices normally are. Timeless collector’s books can be sold in the Book Bin for as much as $25, which according to Finnegan is still a bargain.
“These are very reasonably-priced books,” said Finnegan. She compared the Book Bin’s prices to competing book stores’, saying, “We’re a lot more reasonable – those stores are expensive buying.”
“We have different books than the other stores, too,” said Renning, pulling an early twentieth century biography from a shelf titled “California and the West.”
With donations coming in from all over the county, it’s no surprise that the Book Bin’s shelves are stocked with distinctive, irreplaceable novels, including an early publication of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and rare art books.
“The art books that they have are great,” said Gallery Finesse owner Ken Kelleher. “A lot of the books that are put through here I own and I know what they cost. You’ve got these generic art books at other stores, and these here are very interesting books.”
The Book Bin takes books that may be costly at other shops and makes them available for everyone, especially those who may not be able to afford such titles at higher prices. If you would like to give a book to the book bin, visit the Turlock Public Library with your donations.
Finnegan foresees a long, successful life for the Book Bin in spite of today’s technology.
“It’s nice to know that people still read books and they’re not reading them on Kindles.”