Turning over a new page
Bookstore a way to connect with the community
Manjimup had been without a bookstore for a number of years, until Vetted Books came to town.
Owner Alan Lloyd opened the store at Easter and operates four days a week from Wednesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm.
“I opened the bookshop in my retirement because I needed something to do and I had lots of records and books at home and this was a good way of doing something with them,” Alan said.
“In the two years it’s taken to set the bookshop up I’ve been buying more and more books and records and so I’ve hardly had to touch the ones at home.”
Alan said in those two years he replaced the roof, stripped out all the asbestos, painted the walls and then set up the shelves and organised the books.
Alan wanted to provide a service he knew the community wanted and also hoped to become more involved with the community at the same time.
“All my working life I’ve worked away from the district, now being in retirement gives me the chance to get to know the community and hopefully more people might recognise my face around town,” he said.
“It’s been great, the support of the local community since I’ve been open, and people have been donating books and I’ve been collecting books at fairs and garage sales around the place for years.”
Before Alan owned a bookstore he was a professional engineer and worked for 12 years at Muja Power Station, then another 12 years at Wagerup Refinery and also worked at other mine sites.
Alan said now he had retired from these jobs, opening the bookstore was something he had greatly enjoyed.
“I’ve been very pleased with the way people have supported the bookshop because it’s been a while since there’s been a bookshop in town and the customers are anxious to see that a bookshop succeeds and is able to stay,” he said.
Alan not only runs the bookstore but is also a member of several community organisations around town.
“I am a member of the Lions Club and was treasurer for a few years there,” he said.
“We raise funds through wood raffles and we’ll be at the Cherry Harmony Festival and Carols by Candlelight in the park this year.”
He has also been a part of the Community Resource Centre for about eight years and is also treasurer of the Warren Arts Council.
The arts council runs music events like the Bluegrass and Old Time Music Weekend and Alan said they hoped to organise an event around classical music in the near future.
“We’ve also organised another bluegrass performer arriving just after the Bridgetown Blues, Mike Compton, who’s one of the best mandolin players in the world,” he said.
Alan said he would like to run the bookstore and be a member of these community organisations for a while yet.
“I opened the place with the intention of seeing how it goes for five years and by that stage I’ll be old enough to give it away for someone else to run,” he said.
The store holds a wide variety of books on all different topics including Australiana, Alan’s special interest area.
“I haven’t even tried to count the number of books I have,” he said.
The bookstore is located on Giblett Street and Alan said he was always happy for people to bring in more old books and records to exchange.
I’ve been very pleased with the way people have supported the bookshop because it’s been a while since there’s been a bookshop in town. Vetted Books owner Alan Lloyd
Vetted Books store owner Alan Lloyd with his collection of books.