Since it began selling used books in April, Dave’s Drive-In Liquor has netted more than $5,500 in book sales, owner Jeff Rise confirmed to the Fremont Tribune on Friday.
And every penny has gone to the Friends of the Keene Memorial Library, ultimately helping the library fund a wide array of things: food and snacks for children’s programs; authors or special visitors; special events like the Christmas tree lighting; or software or hardware for computers.
“The partnership between a liquor store and a library was kind of a question at the beginning and I think it turned out to be one of our best partnerships,” said Tina Walker, executive director of the Keene Memorial Library. “I just think it’s wonderful. We never ever expected it go this well.”
Inside Dave’s Drive-In Liquor store, across from boxes of beer and other alcoholic selections, dozens of feet worth of shelves line the wall, holding thousands of books. All of the books are donated and sold for 50 cents per paperback and $1 per hardcover.
“People have been great,” Rise said. “A lot of people have been coming in, dropping books off and buying new ones. That’s really what we’re after. It’s almost like a recycling center.”
The partnership was envisioned to help the Keene Memorial Library make use of thousands of used books that would sit in storage for most of the year. The Friends of the Keene Memorial Library hosts an annual used book sale, but that wasn’t enough to cut into the supply.
Both Rise and Walker say that the book shop will continue to operate for as long as it benefits the library.
“We’re going to keep going until they want us to stop,” Rise said.
Rise puts out new books every week, so he says that if shoppers don’t see what they want, they can always come back at a later date to see what’s changed. Additionally, he’s in the process of sorting the fiction selection by genre to make it easier to shop.
Dave’s Drive-In Liquor is always accepting new books — just pull up to the door and someone will help unload.
“I’d love to thank everybody for their donation of both books and money,” Rise said. “Fremont’s been very supportive.”