Novel ideas

Used book store sold to Sum­mer­side busi­ness­woman


A busi­ness sta­ple in down­town Sum­mer­side is un­der new own­er­ship. Avon­lea Books, owned by Richard Kays since 1997, was re­cently sold to lo­cal busi­ness woman Nancy Quinn. Quinn took pos­ses­sion of the used book store on Sept. 1. In March, Quinn went into the pop­u­lar book store to chat with Kays. “(The way I re­mem­ber it) Nancy came into the store, plunked her­self down on a box and said, ‘Want to sell me your store?’” he re­called with a chuckle. “I hadn’t thought about sell­ing, but I’m never one to turn down a good of­fer. So, I told her to keep go­ing.” Af­ter months of chat­ter, the pair came to a de­ci­sion, Quinn would pur­chase the store and re­name is Sea­side Books. Quinn says the first time she ap­proached Kays about pur­chas­ing the store was at least nine years ago. “I’m so lucky to be able to live my dream of sell­ing books by the sea. And while he sold me his store he passed along his pearls of book sell­ing wis­dom along the way,” Quinn said. Quinn says the land­lord has agreed to re­place the store­front win­dows as well as the front door. She plans to paint the store’s in­te­ri­ors white, in­clud­ing the shelves. “The books should re­ally stand out. They should be the char­ac­ters of this place.” Quinn also plans to turn the store’s de­liv­ery door at the back of the shop to an­other en­trance for walk­ers, cy­clists, trail/board­walk go­ers and farm­ers’ mar­ket shop­pers. She says she plans to fol­low the tac­tics Richard used, con­tin­u­ing to sell used books un­til she feels she un­der­stands the very niche mar­ket. “Book sell­ing is a trade in it­self.” Quinn, a huge “Harry Pot­ter” fan, is look­ing for­ward to turn­ing one store fea­ture into an homage to the se­ries. “I’m go­ing to have a lit­eral cup­board un­der the stairs. I’m re­ally ex­cited about that. I also plan to launch a ‘Harry Pot­ter’ book club.” But she doesn’t plan on stop­ping there.

“I want peo­ple to share their ideas for what they’d like to see. Maybe there will be a mur­der-mys­tery club or a ‘Lord of the Rings’ club.” Quinn also wants to es­tab­lish sec­tions for gen­res that are un­der or not rep­re­sented at all. “I’ve no­ticed there isn’t a lot of LGBTQ+ lit­er­a­ture, both fic­tion and non-fic­tion. I’d love to see that genre make its pres­ence.” She says her fa­ther took her to book stores all the time when she was lit­tle. “He was a fru­gal man, so it was re­ally nice of him to spend that money on new books for me. So, I feel re­ally for­tu­nate.” Kays says he feels he’s leav­ing the store in good hands. “I only think she can help the busi­ness. She’ll grow it. But the first thing I told her is, she’s not go­ing to get rich sell­ing books.” Quinn says she has no is­sue with that as long as she can pass on a love of reading.


Twitter: @JPMil­li­cen­tMcK In­sta­gram: @mil­li­centleem­ckay


Nancy Quinn, long­time Sum­mer­side res­i­dent and avid book nerd, has made her life-long dream come true af­ter pur­chas­ing Avon­lea Books in Down­town Sum­mer­side. The pop­u­lar used book­store will be re­named Sea­side Books.


Used books at Avon­lea Books soon to be called Sea­side Books.

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