The Book Stall: 35 Years In The Making

By Samantha R. Evensen

Ken and Claire Jones opened their bookstore in April of 1978 and are now acknowledging 35 years of success at The Book Stall.

Specializing in selling and trading new and used paperback books, the Jones has come to collect a little piece of history.

Shelves and shelves of books, including best sellers, fiction, nonfiction, fantasy and the classics that have been around forever, grace the shelves of this little shop on 604 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon.

The Book Stall came about as one of those ideas that were conjured up without any real intention.

Claire, at the time, was a schoolteacher and one day she started collecting books. Her friend Brenda Dean joined in her endeavors and their husbands built some shelves. That was the beginning of their business.

When they first opened, Claire and Brenda would take shifts running the shop, which they did for five years until they made enough money to hire someone to work for them.

“You say something and you don’t think about it again. It’s surprising to see things going, I never thought when I started it would last this long,” said Claire.

Claire recalled that the first day they opened they made $18 and were ecstatic about it. “You would have thought we made $18,000.”

The collection that they have in the store now after 35 years is estimated by Claire to be more or less than 35,000 books and they seem to keep running out of shelf space.

It’s the regulars that keep them in business, but they always love meeting new people who come into the store.

They encourage everyone to stop by with their paperbacks or just to pick up a few new books to read.

They charge half the cover price of any book plus ten cents.

What makes them different from most bookstores is that when you buy from them, you can bring it back and get a little money in return.

The store is open Monday-Friday from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.  and closed on Sundays.

For more information about The Book Stall, please call 685-8402.