Find your next beach read at The Paperback Exchange in Belmar, New Jersey. Belmar's only second-hand book store has been serving bibliophiles in the local community for over 40 years. The shop’s current owner, Sharon Sanford, has parlayed her passion for reading into a successful business doing what she loves most.
Tell us a little bit about your business.
The Paperback Exchange sells used books for half price (or less). We accept paperbacks in good condition for trade and offer store credit in return. We also take some donations, depending on quality. Store credit can be used to purchase any of our half-price books but doesn’t have to be used that day. We retain a record for our customers in our database to be used on any future visit. Customers don’t have to bring books in trade to shop or browse.
What year did you open your business in Belmar?
Originally opened by Isabelle Carlo in 1977, The Paperback Exchange was located in the space now occupied by Mike’s Sub Shop. It moved to its current location on Pyanoe Plaza in 1982. I took over in 2009. RELATED: Belmar Business Spotlight - Beckman's On The Beach
What was the inspiration for your business?
Isabelle was my inspiration! As a high schooler in 1977, I was one of her first customers.
What is something most people don't know about your business?
Along with our half-price and 25-cent books we also have a sprinkling of collectible titles.
I want my business to be known for….
We want to provide a relaxing place to enjoy while you meander looking for your next book, feed your mind, and share your thoughts. We are dedicated to the preservation of the written word in printed format. E-books are great, but they aren’t like holding a book. Books don’t need charging, are even easier to read in bright light, and can be shared with your friends and family. RELATED: Shopping In Belmar, NJ
People might find it surprising to know that I….
Had to be talked into taking over the store when Isabelle decided to retire.
If I was asked to describe my background in a few sentences, I would tell you that….
Reading has always enlightened, inspired, delighted, and educated me.
When I’m not working, I like to….
Read! (Big surprise, right?)
What is the biggest lesson you have learned being in business for yourself?
Manage your money or it will get away from you. Also, vacuum, whether you hate it or not.
What else would you like to share about your business?
There are an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 books on our shelves!
The Paperback Exchange
703½ 9th Avenue
Belmar, NJ 07719
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