Book Nook marks one year of inspiring literacy

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Book Nook Used Book Store in the Aroostook Centre Mall turns one this month, and has already raised nearly $16,000 to help local children read more. 

The Book Nook benefits United Way of Aroostook and its early literacy program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.  Since its doors opened in late November 2018, it has done well, said United Way officials.

“We are overwhelmed and grateful for the positive response we’ve gotten from the community,” said Athena Hallowell, program and volunteer coordinator for United Way of Aroostook. “From the folks donating books, to the people donating money for books, and the volunteers who help us with the upkeep of the store, we just couldn’t be any happier or more grateful.”

The initial donation of books came from The Cubby Thriftstores, LLC, but inventory has been maintained by the donations of countless citizens across Aroostook County who have donated boxes and bags of books on an almost daily basis.  Customers visiting the Nook find that there is no clerk on hand to take their money for the books they choose, only an honor-system safe. Visitors can browse the shelves, find a book or two they like, and then leave a donation in the safe located in the store.  All money collected goes to help fund the Imagination Library.

Part of the money the Book Nook raises comes from monthly “Book End” sponsors. Businesses, organizations and groups are encouraged to sponsor the Book Nook each month.  Monthly sponsors decorate the window display however they wish, including information and materials from their business.

To further the goal of getting books in the hands of people, fostering the love of reading, United Way has created and shared thousands of “Book Nook Certificates,” which entitle bearers to one free book at the Nook. These certificates have been shared with many agencies, organizations and at local events.  

For example, every first-grader in Aroostook County received a certificate through the Summer Slide Reading Program, and senior citizens attending the Aging Well, Living Well Expo were given a certificate as well.

For more information about the Book Nook or to be a Book End Book Nook sponsor, please contact the office at 764-5197.

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