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Good reads in old books

Stock up on your summer reading at the The Friends of the Public Library Used Bookstore.
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THUNDER BAY — The Friends of the Public Library Used Bookstore is encouraging people to stock up on their summer reading.

Patrick and Tony Peotto are brothers who volunteer at the bookstore. As well as books for all ages and interests, there’s an array of CDs from every musical genre, DVDs and audio books at low prices.

Patrick explains that the books come from and go to many different places. Some of them are former library books that have been moved out of circulation but the vast majority of donations are from people from around the city, he said. 

“They either donate them directly to the library, which is great, or they’ll come in here and donate them to us,” Patrick said.

Tony added that there are many personal history books and other literature about the history of communities. 

“Like this one from Manitoba,” he said, holding out a book he pulled from a shelf. 

“We have things about Thunder Bay, little historical vignettes about bottles or some other book on collectibles, works by local artists . . . and we even have the history of the Elks in here.”

One of the more unusual items that came through the book store was a set of explicit books.

“The ladies were shocked with a collection of sex-type manuals that came through, and you know when most of our volunteers are in their 70s and 80s, sometimes it’s a generational thing,” Tony said. “We’ve had all sorts of things that are really intriguing and don’t usually appeal to a large group of people, but there’ll be someone who comes in and asks a question, we’ll say, ‘Jeepers, this is cool. This book is for you,’ and they’ll be happy as clams. We like that a lot.”

The library used book store is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, and from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. It has been operating in the Victoriaville Mall for a number of years and in its heyday, it was popular.

“There’s no one in the mall anymore,” Tony said. “We used to be so busy with lots of walk-in (customers). “When all of the businesses were open, it was great. People would combine a visit to the physiotherapist with a drop-in here, but with COVID, and with the demise of the mall being imminent, people just don’t come as often as they used to.”

The Thunder Bay Public Library is reviewing its strategic plan and trying to determine the relocation of the Friends of the Public Library Used Bookstore pending the demolition of the Victoriaville Mall, possibly next year. Proceeds from the sales of the used materials help the library with programs including supplying tablets to students through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chronicle Journal


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