Closure of the W.Va. bookstore after 17 years

VIENNA, W.Va. (AP) — When her bookstore closes at the end of the month, owner Lee Campbell hopes to find a home for every book.

After 17 years of activity, the Paperback Palace in Vienna will close its doors on February 28.

Campbell hopes to sell as much of her inventory as possible with a 50% sale, but plans to donate most of the books to local organizations.

“We just tried to find a good place, a good home. I have a background in library science and love the idea of ​​getting them to a place that really wants them. I want my customers to get them first, then anyone else who needs them. We will try to give everything we can,” Campbell said.

Some of the books will go to the public library, Wyngate Senior Center, churches and groups that stock small city libraries.

“It’s nice to be able to take the books that are sitting here (that) people can’t get to because they’re not going out and send them to certain places,” Campbell said.

Customers also helped out with donations. Campbell said some of the people who couldn’t come to shop during the pandemic donated their trade-in credit.

“They were really generous with their trade. They donated $1,000 to teachers, educators or the library. We donated a lot of books thanks to them,” she said.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, Campbell said many of her regular customers were unable to come as often because they were older and at higher risk of contracting the virus, leading to financial and his decision to close the store.

Before the virus became a problem, Campbell had hoped to focus on the store again after spending time caring for family members.

“I had planned to transition and come back and really focus on the store and almost immediately we (were) impacted by COVID. I had all these types of plans,” she said.

Once the store closes, Campbell hopes to use her background in library and education to do similar work in the field and she wants to get into genealogy work.

Many of his customers have been dedicated to the store since day one and Campbell said he will miss their interaction the most.

“That’s definitely going to be the hardest part. It was one of the hardest parts in the beginning to make the decision,” she said.