November 1st is National Authors Day. And there are many authors to read, as well as bookstores to peruse for unexplored titles. One of those stores in Warren is Village Book Exchange, located at the northeast corner of Mound Road and Beebe Avenue. Owners Cheryl and Joe Sharrow opened the store 39 years ago. Husband Joe retired as a 25-year firefighter/paramedic for the city of Warren. As Cheryl explains it, “We were looking for a small business that I could run – a hobby business.”
What inspired her to start a used bookstore as her business? The answer’s easy: other used bookstores.
“The ones I went to, there were just books everywhere. No system, no rhyme or reason.” Anyone who visits V.B.E. for the first time will notice its unique location. “We came upon this business, it was not for lease, it was not for sale. It was empty and completely gutted.” After some negotiations with the property owner (who, at the time, lived in the house behind the building, on Beebe), the Sharrows got to work cleaning out the building during the summer of 1979. The store opened that September.
“Our biggest category is fiction. Mysteries, romances. I have some classics. I have some nonfiction. I have no children’s books, unfortunately,” Cheryl says. “I am very, very proud of my science fiction [and] fantasy section. And I get compliments from my readers all the time, so I’m very proud of that.”
Village Book Exchange is located at 31614 Mound Road, south of Chicago Road. Store hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday. For more information, visit the website www.villagebookexchange.com, or call (586) 264-2647.