Warehouse owner giving away thousands of books

Published 12:24 am Thursday, October 4, 2018

Row upon row of books populate this Washington warehouse. They’re in boxes; they’re in stacks. There are mysteries and romances, non-fiction and self-help. Some are old — antique, even — and some are new. Most are used, but besides the written word, they have one thing in common: they’re all free.

Bill Litchfield is giving books away — about 30,000 of them, located in his warehouse on Havens Street in Washington. Litchfield said the last tenant of the space stopped paying rent four months ago, and told him he wasn’t interested in removing the thousands of books. Since, Litchfield said he’s reached out to any organization or company he could find, local and national, that would be interested in a massive book donation, to no avail.

Since he’s gotten no takers, he’s decided to give them all away to whoever wants to stop by.

Starting Saturday morning, Litchfield is going to open the doors to the warehouse with an open invitation to the public to stop by and take as many books as they want.

“If someone wanted to open a used bookstore, they could come get them all,” Litchfield said.

IN THE STACKS: Row after row of bookshelves filled with books, or boxes filled with books, populate a warehouse space on Havens Street in Washington. The owner is hoping to give all the books, and their bookshelves, away.

The giveaway isn’t limited to books. Dozens of bookshelves are also available.

“Anything here,” Litchfield said, gesturing to a faux leather tufted bench in two pieces. “They can take anything. I just ask that people don’t leave a mess.”

Litchfield said he’ll keep the garage-type door of the warehouse open during the week, as long as it’s not raining. Booklovers are welcome to poke around, open the many boxes of books — they might find some treasures, such as the collection of Charles Dickens’ books, printed in the early 20th century, found in one box.

The self-professed booklover said he hopes the public will take him up on his offer, otherwise he’ll have to find another way to dispose of them.

“They’re books. It’d be a real shame to take them to the dump,” Litchfield said. “There are some good books here.”

The white warehouse is located at 541 Havens Street — “the road that runs behind Backwater Jack’s,” Litchfield said. The books are located in the first unit, No. 541.