Tap into the pleasure of reading — for free

Published 6:49 pm Friday, October 5, 2018

There are those who have embraced technology and those who have not. Then there are those who have embraced technology but for one thing: when they read, they want to read a book, an actual physical book. They want to feel the weight of it; the texture of paper beneath their fingertips. What they don’t want to do is stare at yet another screen.

Washington has, over the years, had varying success with bookstores. Some have hung in there for many years; others have open and closed in a short period of time. Local booklovers have always been sad to see them go. But the owner of one of the most recent, a used bookstore formally located on West Main Street, left behind a warehouse full of used books—about 30,000 of them.

There are mysteries, romances, biographies, fiction, non-fiction, new books, books dating back to the 19th century and everything in between. There are hardcovers and paperbacks. Some are or shelves, others are still in the boxes in which they were packed when the store closed.

There’s, quite literally, some reading material for everyone in this warehouse full of books.

Local booklovers should know that starting today, those books will be free to the public. The owner of the warehouse needs to get rid of them because he needs to rent the space to a paying tenant. Like any booklover, the idea of throwing away books would be last possible solution, so he came up with another: as of this morning, anyone can walk into the warehouse and take what they want, including the shelves holding the books. The warehouse will also be open during the week.

It’s an opportunity to find some new reading material and an opportunity to prevent books from ending up where they definitely do not belong — in the garbage.

So, stop by and browse the shelves. Take a book or two or 100. Take them all, in fact. Look away from the screen and tap into the pleasure of reading an actual book.

The warehouse is located at 541 Havens Street in Washington. No appointment is necessary; the owner only asks people not to leave a mess.