Thursday, July 21, 2022

Book ReViews - Newton, KS


Book ReViews, Newton, KS

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I've learned a lot on this bookstore journey and one of the things I've learned is almost every indie is rooted to its community by some kind of social advocacy or charity work.  I enjoy seeing all these actions at bookstores but I must say all those other indies pale in comparison to Book ReViews in Newton, KS.  This bookstore is a true service to the community, a proud non-profit staffed entirely by volunteers.  Since 2006, the store's proceeds have benefited 40+ organizations.  The store was founded in 1991 by a small group or Mennonites who place an importance on reading and higher education.  Since that time, this non-profit has donated $175,000+ to local charities.  In a community of approximately 20,000 (including North Newton), this is impressive.  Organizations that have benefitted include Meals On Wheels, Habitat For Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Offender Victim Ministry to name a very few.  Honestly, this is about way more than just a bookstore.  

As board president Steve S. told me, there's nothing fancy here.  Nothing sold online except through ABE, no scanners or chip readers (bring your cash), and only a few CDs and greeting cards for sidelines.  This is just a bare bones used book store.  You would think with a staff of volunteers it would be lacking in some ways.  This store doesn't have to take a back seat to any of my bookstore visits.  Excellently maintained and organized in a one-level, attractive interior.  Very comfortable.  With the Mennonite background in the community, there is a healthy section of religion but you will find all genres here.  How do they stock the store?  All books are donated and as Steve told me, the donations are plentiful and they don't have to solicit for them.

Yet, for as long as the store has been here many in Newton haven't patronized it.  What gives, Newton?  They have a great location right downtown on Main St. and even if you don't read, buy a book for a friend.  Your purchase will benefit YOUR community.  Want to take your support further?  They need volunteers so go to the store and inquire how you can help.  Who wouldn't want to work in a bookstore?!  Patronize this store with your presence, your purchases, or your time and be a part of a successful Newton fixture.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.  

JUST FINISHED:  Address Unknown, Kathrine Kressmann Taylor.  Originally published in 1938 and recently renewed, this very short work of fiction could be all too real.  The book is an exchange of letters between business partners, one Jewish in San Francisco and one living in Germany.  The letters exchanged describe the escalation of pre-war tensions in Europe and the growing disagreements of the once friends and business partners.  Thoroughly enjoyed this quick read.  Recommended. 

CURRENTLY READING:  Memorial Drive, Natasha Trethewey.

Beautiful storefront on Main St. downtown. 

Expansive window display space. 

I can verify that this is absolutely correct. 

In the entry way you'll see a detailed mural of a wall of books.  Behind this mural is the real thing. 

Come on Newton, this is a GREAT community resource thanks to the books they sell.  Definitely consider volunteering.

Looking through the store, front to back. 

Attractive display.  Used books that look like new. 

Have a seat and try out a book. 

Find this display just inside the entrance. 

By the time I got to the new arrivals some of them were already sold. 

The mission statement for this bookstore is beyond reproach.  If you're in Newton, take a look at this long list of beneficiaries and you might find one that has helped you.  Beyond impressive. 

Looking into one of the many book nooks. 

Book displays can be found throughout the store. 

Display of self-help and philosophy. 

Partial view of the children's section. 

Overview of the children's area complete with little chairs for little readers. 

A few of the CDs offered. 

I always like a book nook with a chair. 

An important section for many seniors who continue to value and enjoy reading.   

Overview of the religion and Mennonite room. 

The signs throughout the store make it easy to find your favorite genre. 

With Steve on the left and store manager Joe in the center, two of the fine people at Book ReViews.  Thanks for a great visit. 

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