Published October 31. 2020 07:42AM
A local favorite with book lovers is changing hands.
Russ Pierce, owner of Pierce’s Used Book Shop, has been in the book business since 1997 when he established his first bookstore in Walnutport and then later moved the store to Brodheadsville.
Pierce and his employee Cathy Simpson know their books and that is quite an accomplishment because inventory is always at least 150,000 books.
He is retiring and selling the bookstore to his long-time employee and friend of nearly 19 years was a “no-brainer,” according to Pierce. It just made sense.
Simpson is now officially the new owner and changed the name to C. Simpson Used Book Shop.
“The stores got bigger and bigger and so now we are here with this store and it is nice,” Pierce said.
The store is unique and if you cannot find a certain book, it probably is no longer around, including the out-of-print copy.
Pierce said the goal was to open a hybrid store, something between a new and used bookstore.
“We wanted to make it, so it was a nice shopping experience, but still had quality books. “It has worked out really well and treated me good for 23 years and actually, it is still thriving,” he said.
It wasn’t an easy decision for Pierce to retire, but he felt it was time.
“Over the years I’ve had many people mention that if I were to retire one day, they would like to take over the store, but it is not that easy,” Pierce said.
He equates trusting someone to take over his store is the same as trying to find someone to raise your child. “I couldn’t just sell it to anybody,” he said
He knew the only person who could fill his shoes was Simpson.
She knows the business in and out and knows all our faithful customers, that come in regularly in search of good books to read and is good at what she does.
New owner, same great bookstore
Simpson said, “My plan is to keep doing what Russ was doing.”
She has spruced up the children’s section with colorful posters and book displays to easily capture a young reader’s attention.
All books are still only $3, and the store carries a large number of out-of-print books as well as a popular selection of newer publications and classics.
“I know I have big shoes to fill, but Russ stops in and has been really helpful,” she said.
Both Pierce and Simpson say the bookstore’s business is thriving and has never been better.
Pierce attributes the reason to the lack of brick and mortar stores and the fact few stores carry a wide selection of books.
“They usually carry only the books on the best sellers list along with a varied collection of other books,” he said.
“You can order books online, but then you pay shipping and a lot more money than three dollars a book we charge. Plus, we carry a wide selection of out-of-print books,” Simpson said.
The store also does a good business with the home school families and the Pleasant Valley High school and Middle School students. Simpson said the students are also frequent browsers at the store.
The students often come here to look for a book on a subject they are writing about or for information about a topic they are considering writing about, she said.
The store is open seven days a week and always has at least 150,000 books in inventory to choose from, customer service is helpful and friendly. If you bring in books to donate, you get $1 credit for every book you donate. That $1 credit can be used toward your next book purchase.
The store keeps a file card to keep track of your purchase credit and it is a very popular perk among the customers.
“Right now the store has over 12,000 names of current shoppers in our file,” Simpson said.
C. Simpson Used Book Shop is located in the Route 209 West End Plaza, Brodheadsville. For any questions or for further information call: 610-681-7717 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the store on Facebook to see featured selections.
Russ Pierson, Pierce’s Used Book Shop founder, and new owner Cathy Simpson go over books brought in by a customer. AMY LEAP/TIMES NEWS
Pleasant Valley High School students Sydney Caprista (standing) and Megan Haney check out the shelves at C. Simpson Used Book Shop, located in Route 209 West End Plaza, Brodheadsville in Brodheadsville. The girls said they come into the bookstore almost every other day to look for books.
C. Simpson Used Book Shop, located in Route 209 West End Plaza, Brodheadsville, always has a large selection of books outside the store. AMY LEAP/TIMES NEWS