Kyes-Sage Used Bookshop in Peterborough closes for the season Nov. 19

  • Kyes-Sage Used Bookshop in Peterborough closes for the season Nov. 19. STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FONDA

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/15/2022 1:47:03 PM

Three years away due to the renovation project at Peterborough Town Library resulted in a major rebuilding project for the Friends of the Peterborough Library’s Kyes-Sage Used Bookshop at 14 Concord St.

Not only did the shelves need restocking from scratch, the back room became home to the library’s heating and cooling system, meaning the Friends had to rethink the book shop’s space. Furthermore, many of the volunteers had left.

“We found that some of them aged out of being able to volunteer or had moved," said Carol Boyle, chair of Friends of the Peterborough Library.

But in spite of all the obstacles, Boyle said the shop had an excellent year after opening May 28, and got a lot of compliments from the community. The shop closes for the season Saturday, Nov. 19, and will reopen next spring, although Boyle is not sure about a date.

“Folks just love going to that building,” she said. “They were very happy to see the book shop open in that building.”

To account for the loss of space, the Friends stopped selling books that drew less interest such as sports, art, poetry, drama, romance and science fiction. At the beginning of the season, the book shop didn’t stock cookbooks or history books, but after customers asked, the Friends added a couple shelves for them.

Boyle said the shop focused on adult fiction, because that is what people bought the most, and customers would often buy books, read them and then donate them back to the store. The shop also had biography and children’s sections.

“They go for a good, cheap read,” she said.

In order to rebuild the stocks, the Friends held a couple book-collection events before opening, although because of the lack of space, volunteers screened books before accepting them.

“People would come with boxes and boxes of books,” Boyle said.

During the season, the Friends allowed people to bring books whenever the shop was open, and the volunteers on duty would screen them.

“We sort of had an ongoing flow of books during the season,” Boyle said.

As for volunteer-recruitment efforts, Boyle said the shop drew more and more of them, particularly people from local retirement communities.

“We actually ended up with more volunteers than we had in the past, which is wonderful,” she said. Normally, Boyle said the shop had about 40 volunteers, but this year, it had about 50.

Kyes-Sage Used Bookshop raises money for library services and purchases, and Boyle said it would end up raising about $5,000 this year. That is less than in the past, but Boyle said the season was shorter, and the fewer types of books available cost the shop some sales.

In addition, she said the shop changed the pricing for adult books. Previously, it had been $3 for hardcover books and $2 for softcovers, but this year, they were all $2. However, while the money is important, Boyle said it’s also important to provide a positive book-buying experience for customers.

“They come in, and they just enjoy being in the shop,” she said. “We’re very pleased that our customers came back, that people were generous donating books and we were able to raise funds for the library.”

For the final weekend, hours will be Thursday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Friends have been running sales for $1 a book during November, and will be bringing back a sale where people can buy a bag of books for $5.

“Some of them fill it to the brim,” Boyle said.

On Saturday, the library will host a cello-dulcimer duo in the afternoon, and a volunteer will be selling a few books there, although customers will be referred to the book shop.

“It’s a wonderful way to end the season, plus the people visiting the library will get to hear the music, as well,” Boyle said.


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