Pages Bookstore is finding success in a niche market.
The local store has grown its customer base by selling rare books through the online marketplace AbeBooks. Store manager Nathanael Baker said he usually ships several books a week around the world, primarily to the U.S. However, people in Australia, Mexico, Italy, Israel, and the Czech Republic have also found their collectibles at Pages Bookstore.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Baker. “It’s a very specific market because often the buyer is looking for more antique stuff. Because all the books are donated, we can sell them for whatever we want and still make a profit. If someone is ordering a book from (overseas), it is a satisfying feeling to know that this little town has the cheapest book they’re looking for.”
Pages Bookstore has about 1,100 rare books available online, ranging in price from $10 to $300, with most listed around $75. About 80 per cent of book donations to the store are from residents in Hope.
“Our main focus of the store is to try and keep books out of the dump and try and find some use for them. I’ll take everything and anything,” said Baker. “I get boxes of books that people don’t want, I dig through them and at the bottom of a box might be a special edition I’ve been looking for that I know is worth something. A lot of times people don’t know what they’re sitting on.”
Pages Bookstore offers a wide range selection of $2 books, everything from geography/travel and science fiction, to thriller/horror, western and children’s literature.
Baker typically sells about 50 books a day during the winter and up to 100 in the summer. He said mystery and romance are the best sellers in Hope. Books that are not sold at the store are donated to Discover Books Inc. in Abbotsford.
Pages Bookstore is a non-profit bookstore operating under New Page Human Services Society. All proceeds go towards literacy programs in the community. New Page Human Services Society is currently using a provincial job creation partnership grant to help train Baker on creating a new website and promoting online sales.