Library House Gallery opens in Grand RapidsWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dorinda Shelley, a retired dermatologist and lifelong book collector, has opened Library House Gallery in her hometown of Grand Rapids, Ohio.
Along with her partner, Dr. Alan Wishner, Shelley opened the used bookstore in a storefront in downtown Grand Rapids on Sept 9. They are holding a grand opening for the general public Sept. 24 from 6-10 p.m. serving coffee, fudge and scones.
Shelley said she has been collecting books all her life and decided to share much of her collection with people at Library House Gallery.
The Grand Rapids resident enlisted the help of Wishner, her son William Shelley, his friend Ericka Fernandez and Rob Conley, who was hired to manage the business.
The team has supervised the renovation of the historic building for Library House Gallery. It is a long narrow shop with bookshelves lining two walls. Bookcases and antique chairs and tables are located throughout to create a cozy atmosphere.
“I’m so glad to see this bookstore open here,” said Tony Golbinec of Grand Rapids, who bought the third book sold at the new shop.
Golbinec is interested in steam locomotives and has found several books about them at the shop. He said he’s looking forward to buying more.
“This is the opportunity I’ve been looking for for a long time. As a lifelong book lover, books have been a passion all my life,” Conley said.
He was working as a manager of Borders Books in Westfield Franklin Park when Borders announced it was closing that store and many others as part of bankruptcy proceedings.
Wishner was looking for bargains at Borders and began a conversation with Conley about an opportunity in Grand Rapids. With his retail and bookstore experience, he was hired to manage Library House Gallery.
“We’re all working together to run the store for Dr. Shelley,” said Conley, who recently moved to Grand Rapids to be closer to the business. He grew up in East Toledo and graduated from Waite High School.
“We have antique books and used books of current authors. Art and history books will be our main focus with some poetry, fiction and a little bit of everything,” he said.
Conley said the shop plans to have local authors and historians give talks about their books and to have a monthly poetry night at Library House Gallery.
He said he expects to sell books to people from the local community and reach out to nearby towns and cities such as Bowling Green.
“We look forward to drawing customers from the many visitors that come to the tourist destination from spring to fall culminating with the Applebutter Fest,” Conley said.
The 35th annual Applebutter Fest will take place Oct. 9 in Grand Rapids, drawing thousands of people to the small town on the Maumee River in Wood County.
The business will eventually sell books online when its website, www.libraryhousebooksandart.com, launches. Library House Gallery is located at 24164 Front St. in Grand Rapids, Ohio. It can be reached by phone at (419) 830-3080.