Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Paperback Exchange Moves to Bedford

The Paperback Exchange located on the Blake Block at 68 Great Road opened on December 5th. I recently met with Diane Krol, the owner. According to Diane, the store has been around about 2 and 1/2 years, first opening in Burlington and then moving to Billerica. When the lease was recently up, she decided to look for a new location. She thought Bedford was a good choice as there were no similar book stores in the area including Lexington and Concord.

As the name implies, The Paperback Exchange mainly sells used paperback books. They sell used books at 50% off the listed price. They normally stock about 25-30,000 different books. Almost all the used books are fairly new (a few years or less) titles. According to Diane, the most popular category of books they sell are Mystery and Science Fiction.

Many different categories of used books are available including Romance, Fiction, Historic Novels as well as a large selection of Paranormal Books.

In addition to buying books at the store, you can also exchange your old paperback books for store credit of $1 per book. In order to get the credit, your books must be in good condition and have been published in the last 3 years.

Along with used books, The Paperback Exchange also offers a limited selection of new books including books on tape as well as book accessories like book covers and bags. For Children they also stock new books on summer reading lists and fun items for parties such as Singing Ballons. The store is also interested in making contact with the Bedford Schools and Libraries.

The store has a special room tailored to Children and Young Adults.

The store itself is a family business with Diane and her husband running most of the store with some extra help from time to time. The store is open 11am-4pm on Mondays, 10am-6pm Tuesday through Friday and 10am-5pm on Fridays.

What's interesting is that another used book store, Used Book Superstore just opened on Route 3A in Burlington. However this store is more focused on older hard covers and old computer books.

With the opening of the Bedford Historical Society gift shop a few doors down, The Blake Block had been completely filled up in just a few months which is impressive given the current economy. It seems likely the very reasonable rental rates have created a mini "enterprise zone" for retailers in downtown Bedford.


Stephen Chu 朱朱 said...

I haven't been following Blake block renovation project, but from the look of it, the project is now abandoned?

An used book store in town is great. My daughter will definitely love it. She's such a book worm.

Adam Schwartz said...

Hi Stephen,

The Blake Block is "officially" delayed at least a year as the developer tries to seek financing and/or some type of partner. According to the Bedford Minuteman, Blake plans to keep leasing out the building to small businesses until March or April of 2010.

With the current economic climate, I think this is going to be difficult to pull off but we will have to wait and see.

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