Paulding County retail has dramatically changed in the last 10 years. Most national chain stores have found a place in Hiram: Home Depot, Kohl’s, Walmart and JCPenney. However, mom-and-pop, locally owned retail stores are still a part of this community. None of the national chain bookstores have settled in Paulding County.
While a handful of locally owned bookstores have opened, but later closed, The Book Shelter has survived for more than a year. Owner Peggy Howland has transformed her passion for books into a local business venture.
A transplant from Cincinnati, Ohio, Howland worked in the retail industry. After the passing of her husband, she transformed her passion for reading into a resource for other avid readers. With her daughter, Kelly Woodham, they invested into a used book store. Originally located next door to the Hiram Coffee House in downtown Hiram, The Book Shelter outgrew the location and moved across the street for more square footage.
The Book Shelter opened its doors Aug. 1, 2009. With a library of more than 14,000 books, displayed and in storage, a variety of genres are available. Being a used book store, customers can either purchase a book or bring in a book to trade. If a customer’s trade is approved, they get a 50 percent store credit towards the purchase of a new book. Customers can also place a book on a “wish list” and Howland will try and find the book, then notify the customer when the book arrives.
In their first 18 months, several successful book-signing events have been held. Already filling all their shelves at the current location, Howland is always searching for a bigger location. Although very organized, a sitting area for a book club would be ideal, as Howland hopes to increase The Book Shelter’s exposure.
Open six days a week, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., The Book Shelter is located at 140 Main St., Hiram; any book enthusiast is bound to find something to enjoy. For more information, visit thebookshelteronline.com or call 770-222-6646.