Philosophies inspire new items in MPL bookstore

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Marshall Public Library’s display case in the bookstore includes “wall philosophy,” created by circulation staff member Cindy Harper. She finished the projects after a former co-worker passed them on to her.
Jessica Crabtree/Democrat-News

Marshall Public Library patrons might have noticed that the library’s bookstore, “The Next Chapter” bookstore, is filled with more than just gently-used books. Among those books are what Cindy Harper, circulation staff member, calls “wall philosophy.”

These particular books fill the bookstore’s large display case, and are adorned with book pages and various quotes. Each book has a ribbon attached so it can be hung.

“A former co-worker was creating these books, and she couldn’t get them finished,” Harper said. “She brought them in and said, ‘Cindy, would you like to have these? I know you’ll finish them,’ so that’s really where the idea came from.”

One of Cindy Harper’s favorite pieces includes a quote from Mark Twain, “Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.”
Jessica Crabtree/Democrat-News

Harper explained the process of creating one of the books, first picking one with an interesting title. She then searches for a theme and a quote to print on a book page. Once the quote is printed, the page is then attached to the front of the book, along with a ribbon for hanging.

Two of her favorite books include a quote from Warren Buffett, “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked,” and Mark Twain, “Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.”

Each “wall philosophy” piece are for purchase, and proceeds benefit the library.

“A lot of people don’t know it’s a ‘for purchase’ window,” she said.

As someone who loves creating artwork, Harper said she has ideas for more books, and plans to continue creating them as they sell.

In addition to wall philosophy, she creates greeting cards made from recycled books.

Harper began working at the library in June 2015, only a few months before the bookstore was opened. Since, she is considered “in charge” of the bookstore, including the display case.

“I was trying to do a seasonal theme and change (the display) four times a year ... and try to pull books from the bookstore that might have something to do with that season,” she said.

The bookstore opened in December 2015, and Harper explained how books land in the store.

“All of the books are either donations or the books that are pulled from the collection,” she said.

Books pulled from the library’s collection are ones that have not been checked out in three years, and are pulled in order to make room for new books. The library also works with a company in St. Louis that will accept books and sell them for the library through sites such as Amazon.

“They have a database; they have a list of books that they want to sell,” she explained. “We scan the ISBN code, and then they let us know if they want it. So we send it out to them, and they sell it for us.”

The library accepts most all book donations, as long as they are clean and in decent condition. Most items in the bookstore are sold for a minimal price, especially when there is a large collection of books for sale.

“It’s another way to serve the public,” she said of the bookstore’s importance. “So many people feel like they can’t have their own library because of expense ... it’s a really good thing for the community.”

The bookstore sells fiction, nonfiction and children’s books, as well as the “wall philosophy” books and greeting cards, puzzles, magazines, and even on occasion, CDs and DVDs.

The bookstore is open during normal library hours, Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. The library is located at 214 N. Lafayette Ave., in the lower level of Marshall City Offices.

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