Bargain BooksGAMBIER, Ohio (September 9, 2004) If it were up to Jack Finefrock, no book would ever see the inside of a garbage can. A bookseller since the age of eight, Finefrock has a great appreciation for the printed and bound word. That's one reason why the manager of the Kenyon bookstore, hailed as one of the best individual bookstores in America, helped launch a shop in Gambier designed to give unwanted books a second chance.
Located at 100 East Brooklyn Street next door to the Gambier Grill, the store opened its doors August 30. Already bargain hunters are searching for paperback and hardcover treasures. The shop is called Denham Sutcliffe, Bookseller, in honor of Kenyon icon and longtime English professor Denham Sutcliffe who operated a bookstore of the same name in Gambier from 1951 to 1956.
Finefrock reviews all the used books he receives, determining their worth and sorting them by subject matter. About 20,000 volumes currently await his inspection. The more valuable tomes will be sold over the Internet and at the Kenyon bookstore. The others will find a home at the new used bookstore. He expects to add about three hundred books to the shop's stacks each day, so that patrons will find new titles each time they visit.
Paperbacks sell for 25 cents each, and hardcovers go for 50 cents. The shop is not staffed, although personnel in the College bookstore track activity in the shop via cameras hung throughout the small building that houses the new store. Patrons pay for the books through a hole in the wall. Buyers wishing to use a credit card or student account for their purchases may pay for the book at the Kenyon bookstore.
"We work on the honor system," Finefrock says, "and so far, most people are overpaying."
Denham Sutcliffe, Bookseller is open 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday when classes are in session.