Thursday, December 12, 2013

"I look incredible... [I'm shopping at] that thrift shop down the road..."

by Michele Young-Stone, author of The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors.  "Young-Stone has written an exceptionally rich and sure-handed debut, full of complex characters, brilliantly described."  --The Boston Globe  (Wow!  This book sounds like it would make a great Christmas present!)  Michele's next novel, Where I Am Born, is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster (publication date pending).    

I volunteer at a thrift store, Hotline.  Our mission is to provide a safe haven for battered women and
Festival of Trees Hotline Fundraiser
children.  We have a Hotline number that women can call for help.  We offer counseling, court fees, and again, a safe place to say.

The wonderfully unique thing about our thrift store is that we have a voracious reader and volunteer named Terry who is in charge of our book room.  She has organized the books into categories identical to what you'd find at your local book store.  Hardbacks are 75 cents or two for a dollar and paperbacks are 50 cents each or three for a dollar.  Terry meticulously places these books for the ease of the shopper.

Because reading is fundamental and we all want to build lifelong readers, I either give away children's books or sell them for 10 cents each.  There's nothing better than seeing a child

ravenous for a good read.

You might think that there's no payday here for us writers, but I don't think that's the case.  We have four used copies of The Poisonwood Bible, multiple Harry Potters and we're never without certain classics like The Catcher in the Rye.  These beloved books are passed on and shared.  I am always looking for my fellow girlfriends' books and my own on the shelves.  I think that when your novel is plucked from the thrift store shelf, you know you've really arrived!

bug yard art
Michele Young-Stone is the author of The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors and the forthcoming Where I Am Born, publication date pending.  Her recent passion is making bugs from recycled jars and vases-yard art and soup.


  1. Great and timely post, Michele! Where is the thrift shop? Perhaps a girlfriend or two would like to donate a novel. Happy Holidays!

  2. The Outer Banks of North Carolina. We have Hotline Pink, Hotline Too, multiple Hotlines, but I think the beauty of the donations is that the books are worn, read, sometimes highlighted, dog-eared, signed to loved ones, etc. They hold history and they keep gaining history. Sometimes we have teachers come in, and they're like, "Hey, that was from my class set. Can I have that back please?" It's funny. Thanks for commenting, Laura.

  3. I used to run a library for my son's little Montessori, and every Friday I would go the local PTA thrift store and spend $5 on books for my shelves. It was the highlight of my week!