This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion.
When Aurora Kleinschmidt first opened the Reading Corner nearly four years ago, she said it was all a labor of love. The used bookstore works in conjunction with the nonprofit she started, AngelTrax, which seeks to provide more access to books for children.
“It’s always been about the beauty that comes from education and entertainment, especially for the children and how that affects them for the rest of their life,” Kleinschmidt said.
The books are organized by genre on shelves, along with a selection of DVDs. In the time they have been open, they have expanded their business to include gifts and a coffee shop that offers specialty drinks. Kleinschmidt said that she’s worked a lot on the atmosphere of the used bookstore so it is tidy and welcoming for people to come in and read, or get together with people.
Q: What do you offer the community?
A: We have reading time Tuesday and Wednesday at 11 a.m. Different clubs and groups come in and use the space. Kids can come in here and do homework, people can come in and eat their lunch. We tried to set it up and make people feel completely comfortable.
Q: What do you offer that you might not find at another used bookstore in the area?
A: We really sell at a fraction of the cost. I think we provide an atmosphere. We want people to come in and read. We try to provide that Barnes and Noble atmosphere. You could come here and read all day if you want to.
Q: With the advent of the internet and eBooks, how does your shop keep up?
A: We’re certainly not going to get rich off of it by any means, but we sure love it. I heard a lot of that when we first did this. We do provide internet and you’ll see people in here on their computers. I think there’s something about having a book in your hand, and being able to mark it up. I’m a fan of marking-up so I can remember what I read. I think having a tangible object in your hand is very different. I think that’s why people still collect books because the internet goes out, and then what do you do?
The Reading Corner is open 8 a.m.to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 902 Highland Ave. in Kenai.
Reach Victoria Petersen at firstname.lastname@example.org.