by Sean Stephens
I am writing this article from inside Reedley’s newest book store; Resurrected Books. As the name suggests, this is a used book store and their motto is, “Giving old books new life.” As I look around, I see the signs of well-loved old books. Some are weathered, dog eared, spine-wrinkled old things and others have library tags on them. Still others look fresh from the publisher, but they all have one thing in common: they have all been given a chance to be loved once again and for a great bargain.
Resurrected Books is housed in a converted section of Reedley First United Methodist Church, once the host of an annual book sale. However, as the membership of the church aged, it fell to fewer and fewer individuals to see to the task of setting up the sale every year.
At first the sale began to run longer, separating the time of setup from the time of teardown, to give the church members a chance to rest before storing the books for another year. Eventually, it became too much, but the church was left with an estimated 6000 books, so a new plan was necessary.
Amanda Bulls-Stephens promoted the idea of a regular store to replace the annual book sale. It would occupy space that had been left unused for some time and there would be a greater emphasis on presentation, was often overlooked at the annual sale.
Over the next year, the rooms were converted, junk removed and books were relocated. The old carpet and ceilings were extracted and discarded, a new wall, new shelves, doors, lights and paint changed the old Sunday school rooms into a comfortable book store.
There is room on the shelves for an estimated 6000 books and store manager, Amanda Bulls-Stephens, prefers to keep that much on the shelves, despite the large numbers of unsorted books remaining in two storage rooms at the facility. However, as the books are sorted, they find their way onto the shelves and that allows Resurrected Books to have new material on the shelves all the time.
Resurrected Books started out as a church fundraiser, so all the books were donated. That tradition remains today. The store accepts books from anyone on almost any topic. Bulls-Stephens says, “We accept anything but pornography and hate.”
Looking around the store, there is a large selection of fiction by both contemporary and historical authors. A table in the center of the room allows for comfortable previews of your selected titles, or perhaps a bit of reading while your significant other continues to browse.
Other sections are home to a variety of topics from religion and inspiration to 50 year old text books. Children, too, have a section just for them near the front of the store. Resurrected Books is located at 1461 11th St. and open Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can also find them on Facebook.