Look into Looking Glass
You’ve no doubt noticed the newspaper. Very soon a new business owner is hoping you’ll stop in to notice another kind of paper – book pages.
Sarah Cramer, a 2004 Granville High School graduate, plans to open a used bookstore on Main Street.
Cramer said she’s calling her bookstore Through the Looking Glass, a reference to the Lewis Carroll book everyone knows as “Alice in Wonderland,” because the book was “about discovering worlds you never knew were there.”
“I just thought that was a great theme for a bookstore,” she said during an interview last Saturday.
Having traveled to China and Nepal, Cramer said, reading literature from those places helped her to understand them. She plans to incorporate the idea of travel through books into the store space.
On Saturday while she continued painting the walls prepping the space for opening day, her mother, Debbie Cramer, was busy painting a world map mural on the wall.
“I’ve always loved books, so this just seemed natural,” Sarah Cramer said.
The space, which formerly housed H&R Block, now smells of fresh paint and raw wood. Cramer said she made 20 new bookshelves in the space of about 48 hours with the help of a friend. Christopher Steves helped design the new shelves and with the use of his father John Steve’s Hollister Woodworks shop the pair quickly made the bookcases.
With several thousand books already gathered, Cramer said, she hopes to open the doors to her used bookstore in the next couple of weeks, likely the last weekend in January. Cramer said she gets books from many sources, from booksellers to Craig’s List, but she also plans to take them in locally at some point — “probably right now for store credit.”
Cramer, who majored in English and American literature at Harvard University, said she is aiming to create a space she wished had been available when she was growing up in Granville – a comfortable place where people can browse through books.
The store’s open spaces will be a place to discover a new favorite author or a great way to try out a new and different genre, Cramer said. The shelves should be filled with a wide variety of books, from mysteries and various subjects for teens and adults to some children’s offerings. Cramer said she hopes to expand the children’s section in the future.
Because Cramer fills the rest of her time with substitute teaching, the store will have largely weekend hours when it opens. The doors will be open Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday and the early part on Monday, at least to start.
Although she said she had some concern about starting a business when the economy is down, Cramer said, it is no reason to think people have stopped reading.
With lower prices and a unique inventory, Cramer said, she thinks a used bookstore makes more sense.
With the closest bookstore of any kind in Poultney, Vt., and the nearest place for new books in Manchester, Vt., Cramer said she feels confident her store will fill a local need on Granville’s Main Street.
“A lot of people have said they’re excited about me opening,” she said. “I hope that translates into people coming through the door.”