The Stacks shifts to online book sales | News | newburyportnews.com – The Daily News of Newburyport

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Updated: September 21, 2021 @ 9:54 am
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From left, Shannon Carroll, Katie Fawkes, Caitlin Thayer and Delia Rinaldi, all board members of Friends of the Amesbury Public Library. Board members not pictured: Chris Conant, Janet Geanoulis, Carolyn Jordan, Rachel Wood and Louisa Wilson.

From left, Shannon Carroll, Katie Fawkes, Caitlin Thayer and Delia Rinaldi, all board members of Friends of the Amesbury Public Library. Board members not pictured: Chris Conant, Janet Geanoulis, Carolyn Jordan, Rachel Wood and Louisa Wilson.
AMESBURY — The city’s communications director has a lot to do these days, but she has taken on a bit more in her spare time by keeping a used bookstore above her garage.
Caitlin Thayer, Amesbury’s communications director since early 2020, has been president of Friends of the Amesbury Public Library for three years.
The nonprofit group is celebrating its 30th anniversary and is dedicated to supporting the public library with funding for programs and materials.
The Friends has also operated a used bookstore called The Stacks in the library’s lower level. But the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the library and the bookstore for months last year.
“Everything that we sell is a total profit. That means all of the funds go right back to the library,” Thayer said. “When the library closed, so did our used bookstore. The bookstore is the largest source of our revenue to be able to give funds back to the library. So we were losing, on average, $1,000 a month.”
The Friends did what it could to keep books moving by selling them on Facebook in bundles or holding quick pop-up events during the lockdowns last year. But a space issue at the library prompted the Friends to move the bookstore inventory of more than 3,000 books into a room just above Thayer’s garage in the Riverwalk neighborhood.
“I love books and I am always reading,” Thayer said. “Reading is all I ever wanted to do ever since I was a kid. So, to have a bookstore at my house, is kind of incredible. It is a little bit like a dream come true.”
But the books still need to move and the Friends created an online bookstore over the weekend at www.thestacksamesbury.com.
“We will be doing pickup only at the library,” she said. “When people order books online by Wednesday at 5 p.m., we will pack them and have them ready at the library by that Saturday when people can start picking them up.”
Thayer said the Friends intends to open a second phase of the online bookstore that will include shipping.
“We certainly want to hit that larger radius but for right now, we are going to stick with pickup for the local buyers,” Thayer said. “Then, we will continue to go from there.”
She said the used bookstore offers a little bit of everything – children’s books, memoirs, history, sports, pets, business advice and personal growth books.
People can donate used books to the Friends at www.amesburylibraryfriends.org.
“Certainly, there have been a lot of challenges that came from the pandemic but there have also been a lot of opportunities to grow and change,” Thayer said. “I don’t know, if the pandemic never happened, that we would have been pushed to start an online bookstore.”
Although the Friends hopes to have a physical space for its bookstore in the future, Thayer admitted she enjoys getting up early before work and doing some inventory in her garage.
“For right now, I can go up to the garage and hang out with some books. It’s great,” Thayer said.
The Friends will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a pop-up book sale at Brewery Silvaticus on Oct. 28 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.
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