Tuesday November 19, 2019

Books, lots and lots of books! Book Store in a Tiny Rural Town Mount Crawford in Virginia enjoys Mega Success

About 25,000 people visit during each session in Green Valley Book Fair and the fair generates about $2 million in annual revenue

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A book store, Pixabay

A bookstore in the tiny town of Mount Crawford, Virginia is nothing fancy – no comfy chairs or coffee like you find in some other stores. Yet this store has proven resilient over the years through a simple philosophy of giving people what they want: books, lots and lots of books.

Getting there in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley is simple. Drive along country roads and just follow the road signs pointing the way, toward the large warehouses tucked into a hillside.

Inside, shoppers with baskets in tow browse tables and shelves brimming with books. Many are loyal customers, like Zoe Dellinger.

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“I’ve been coming here since I was in my early 20s,” Dellinger said. “The thrill of finding a new book is very serendipitous here because you can’t come and say I’m buying the new Nicholas Sparks book today. That’s not what this place is about. This place is about finding wonderful treasures.”

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And those treasures are available at deeply discounted prices.

“I found a wonderful book that I wanted. It was very expensive at the time: 25, 26 dollars is expensive for me to purchase a new book. I found the book here for $5. I was so excited, so that has kept me coming back just to see what treasures I will find, “said Delinger.

In its 2,300 square-meter two-building facility, the Green Valley Book Fair has a half million new and old books in a wide variety of categories including politics, religion, science, travel, cooking, children’s books and just about anything you can think of.

But it wasn’t always this big.

“My parents actually started this book store about 46 years ago,” General manager Michele Branner said. “My dad collected old books and decided that he wanted to sell some of them. This is the old barn that the cow stalls were taken out of, and that my parents actually had shelves built on each row. People would come in and shop and buy books out of here. It went so well. It’s just kind of evolved to what it is today.”

The Green Valley Book Fair opens only six times a year for three-week sessions. About 25,000 people visit during each session, and the fair generates about $2 million in annual revenue.

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“We buy our books at a fraction of retail and we can sell them for the prices that we do and keep our overhead low. That’s why we don’t have any fancy buildings or anything like that, said Branner.”

People have come to visit from all over the U.S. and from faraway places like Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Russia.

Tim Whitton came from Bristol, Connecticut.

“We have a whole family with us this time. We said you gotta see this book fair and so we brought them all here today. It meets every family’s need that likes to read,” said Whitton.

It’s a simple business ethic: give the people what they want. And despite what you may hear about electronic devices being the ‘end of print,’ it looks like there are plenty of people who want nothing more than to settle in with a good book. (VOA)

  • Manthra koliyer

    this book store is a real treat for Avid readers!

  • Jagpreet Kaur Sandhu

    Wow! Indeed heaven for book lovers.

Next Story

Virginia Doctor Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Illegally Prescribing Opioids

A Virginia doctor who prosecutors said ran his medical practice like an interstate drug distribution ring was sentenced Wednesday

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Virginia, Doctor, Prison
FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo, shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vermont. VOA

A Virginia doctor who prosecutors said ran his medical practice like an interstate drug distribution ring was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years in prison for illegally prescribing opioids.

Dr. Joel Smithers of Greensboro, North Carolina, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Abingdon.

Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Day Rottenborn said Judge James Jones sentenced Smithers to 40 years. He faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years and a maximum of life.

Smithers was convicted in May of more than 800 counts of illegally distributing opioids, including oxycodone and oxymorphone that caused the death of a West Virginia woman.

Virginia, Doctor, Prison
This undated photo provided by the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority shows Dr. Joel Smithers. VOA

Authorities say Smithers prescribed more than 500,000 doses of opioids to patients from Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio and Tennessee while based in Martinsville, Virginia, from 2015 to 2017.

Smithers, 36, a married father of five, testified that he was a caring doctor who was deceived by some of his patients.

Some patients remained fiercely loyal to him, testifying that they needed the powerful opioids he prescribed for them to cope with chronic pain.

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Smithers wrote in a court filing that he plans to appeal his convictions. (VOA)