Old books new again at the Book Bin

Riverbank News - - PERSPECTIVE - BY AN­GELINA MARTIN 209 Staff Re­porter

Most books are bought shiny and new, fresh from the book­store, but some­times a bit of magic can be found in the pages of a novel that has been around for a while. The Friends of the Tur­lock Pub­lic Li­brary Book Bin be­lieves just that, of­fer­ing a va­ri­ety of used books rang­ing from art books to col­lectible clas­sics.

FOTPL raises sup­ple­men­tary funds for the li­brary through means such as the Book Bin.

Nes­tled into a cozy cor­ner of The Gallery Fi­nesse An­tique Store and Art Gallery, the Book Bin ac­cepts book do­na­tions of all kinds which are then sold to the pub­lic at an af­ford­able price. Gallery Fi­nesse takes half of the profit, and the other half is given to the FOTPL, who use the funds to pur­chase new books, tapes and en­ter­tain­ment (ma­gi­cians, pre­sen­ta­tions, etc.) for chil­dren in the com­mu­nity.

“The store is unique be­cause the books are all do­nated by the pub­lic,” said FOTPL mem­ber Hanna Ren­ning. “Peo­ple are gen­er­ous enough to want to in­vest in the com­mu­nity.”

Books at the Book Bin are typ­i­cally between $1 and $3, but Ren­ning’s fel­low FOTPL mem­ber Dorothy Fin­negan re­searches each in­di­vid­ual book to see what their ask­ing prices nor­mally are. Time­less col­lec­tor’s books can be sold in the Book Bin for as much as $25, which ac­cord­ing to Fin­negan is still a bar­gain.

“Th­ese are very rea­son­ablypriced books,” said Fin­negan. She com­pared the Book Bin’s prices to com­pet­ing book stores’, say­ing, “We’re a lot more rea­son­able – those stores are ex­pen­sive buy­ing.”

“We have dif­fer­ent books than the other stores, too,” said Ren­ning, pulling an early twen­ti­eth cen­tury bi­og­ra­phy from a shelf ti­tled “Cal­i­for­nia and the West.”

With do­na­tions com­ing in from all over the county, it’s no sur­prise that the Book Bin’s shelves are stocked with dis­tinc­tive, ir­re­place­able nov­els, in­clud­ing an early pub­li­ca­tion of “Un­cle Tom’s Cabin” and rare art books.

“The art books that they have are great,” said Gallery Fi­nesse owner Ken Kelle­her. “A lot of the books that are put through here I own and I know what they cost. You’ve got th­ese generic art books at other stores, and th­ese here are very in­ter­est­ing books.”

The Book Bin takes books that may be costly at other shops and makes them avail­able for ev­ery­one, es­pe­cially those who may not be able to af­ford such ti­tles at higher prices.

If you would like to give a book to the book bin, visit the Tur­lock Pub­lic Li­brary with your do­na­tions.

Fin­negan fore­sees a long, suc­cess­ful life for the Book Bin in spite of to­day’s tech­nol­ogy.

“It’s nice to know that peo­ple still read books and they’re not read­ing them on Kin­dles.”


The Book Bin is nes­tled in a cor­ner at The Gallery Fi­nesse An­tique Store and Art Gallery and raises funds for the Friends of the Tur­lock Pub­lic Li­brary.

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