Paperback Exchange has consolidated two of its Roanoke Valley stores into a larger store on Williamson Road.
The new store, near the intersection with Hildebrand Road, opened last week.
Store owner Lu Vest said her two old stores were jam-packed with books, and she wanted to find a larger location to make it easier for customers to find the books they want.
“I thought if we could get it all under one roof it would make it easier,” Vest said.
One of the old stores, also on Williamson Road, was about 2,400 square feet. That store closed at the beginning of the month.
The other location, in Salem on Apperson Drive, was just 1,200 square feet, Vest said. She closed that store in May. It had been open for more than 30 years, Vest said.
Vest was apprehensive about closing the Salem store because she was afraid her customers wouldn’t travel to Roanoke to shop.
She had intended to open the consolidated store in southwest Roanoke County, which would have been closer for her Salem customers, but said rents in that area were too high for her business.
Vest worked at Paperback Exchange under the original owner and bought the business about six years ago.
Paperback Exchange pays customers one-fourth of a book’s cover price in the form of store credit, and sells the books for half the cover price.
Vest said the emergence of digital readers and e-books hasn’t hurt her business.
“A lot of people got disenchanted with e-books,” she said. Digital books are just as expensive as bound books, and digital books can’t be traded in or passed around between friends, she said.
Also in the column is a roundup of banking news, including more information about the BB&T branch to be built at Spartan Square, and the closing of a Bank of America branch at Westlake Town Center. Since writing the column I have heard from a StellarOne Bank customer who received a letter from the bank indicating at least one of its branches will close as part of its merger with Union First Market Bankshares Corp. I will try to get more information on those plans this week.