Tucked away in the Sullivan Trail Shopping Center in Forks Township, next to Sculpt Hair Salon, is a used bookstore called "Hooked On Books." It’s an apt name for a store where customers can leave with armfuls of books for the same price as one brand-new hardcover.
“Books are my passion,” said owner Jackie Shoemaker. “I wanted to own a bookstore… I have over 5,000 [books] at home.”
But Shoemaker didn’t come up with the name; "Hooked On Books" actually spent a couple of decades on S. Main Street in Nazareth until Shoemaker bought it only a few years ago.
In November 2009, after owning the store for nine months, she relocated to the Sullivan Trail plaza in the hopes of finding a wider customer base and increasing her inventory.
Today the store houses a selection of more than 60,000 books in a dizzying array of genres: thriller, mystery, romance, horror, science fiction, non-fiction, history, children’s books, cookbooks, reference materials and a whole lot more.
The store’s use of an innovative inventory system means that nearly the entire catalog is kept in a computer database, making it easy to find what customers are looking for.
Most of the books, which are all secondhand, come from mass book sales held by libraries and organizations.
“When we go to book sales, we try to get books that our customers want,” said Shoemaker. “We cater to what they ask for.”
Other books are acquired through donations and the store’s trade-in policy: Hooked On Books will give store credit for up to 25 percent of a book’s cover price (dependent on condition). However, credit can only be used to discount up to 50 percent of a purchase.
And speaking of price, the books there are more than reasonable. Paperback fiction goes for $4, hardcover fiction for $8. Children’s books are $2 to $4, and others vary based on condition.
“I have a new appreciation for books now,” said Andrea Glenn, the store’s full-time employee and Shoemaker’s assistant. She has been working at "Hooked On Books" for more than a year. “I just wish I could read faster!” she joked.
"Hooked On Books" is at 1700 Sullivan Trail in Forks Township. The store is open Monday through Thursday, 10:30am to 6pm; Friday, 10:30am to 7pm, and Saturday, 10:30am to 5pm. It is closed Sundays.
Hooked On Books accepts all major credit cards. It does not pay cash for books. The store will order books through Amazon.com for customers, and charges only what it pays.
If you’re hooked on books too, stop by and peruse the selection and say hello to the store’s mascots, Shoemaker's dogs Benni and Charlie.