by Melinda Sanchez
From classics to thrillers, the Book Rack carries almost every type of book a corporate book store could offer, and at a reasonable price. The Book Rack, located at 1405 Foothill Blvd. in La Verne, offers its customers trade-in benefits and store credit for used books.
Sheila Hastings, owner of the Book Rack for one year, said that her goal is, “to offer customers quality service, including quality books and variety.” Hastings took over The Book Rack after its nine years of successful business and said, “I only hope that I can keep the store a success and make it grow.”
According to Hastings, the store offers a two-for-one trade-in for same-price-category books, or store credit that can be redeemed at any time. Hastings said, “80 percent of the store is made up of used books, and 20 percent are new books that come directly from the publisher.”
“Because most of the hardback books are brand new, we don’t offer trade-ins for those, but we try to offer reasonable prices on them as well,” Hastings said.
An avid customer of the Book Rack, Harvel Lewis, director of multicultural affairs at ULV said, “The Book Rack is a great place for fast readers.
Lewis said, “When I finish the books, I can take them back and get more or just get store credit.”
Lewis finds the store unique because of the trade-in benefits and because she said, “the atmosphere is very friendly.”
Finding more than one copy of a particular book at the Book Rack is not a problem. According to Hastings, they like to have an assortment of books, and more than just one of each, that way customers can pick and choose.
The quality of books is also a concern for Hastings and her customers. Lewis said, “They offer good quality books that look like they were just out of a [corporate] book store.”
Hastings said they are “glad to take trade-in books, provided they are in decent condition and are not falling apart.”
“The Book Rack definitely caters to a person’s reading pleasure… you can walk out without paying an arm and a leg,” Lewis said.
Dr. Teresa Bader-Hull, the director of General Education Program at ULV, has been a frequent customer of the Book Rack for about eight years.
Dr. Bader-Hull returns to the store up to twice a week to check out the new hard-back books that are available.
According to Dr. Bader-Hull, the Book Rack offers hard-back book rentals for readers at $2.50 a week and an additional $1.50 for each additional week to follow.
After reading a fiction book entitled “Coast Road,” by Barbara Delinsky, Dr. Bader-Hull was inspired to start a book club and discussed the idea with Hastings, the store owner.
Dr. Bader-Hull got permission from Hastings to post a flyer, advertising the club in the store and soon thereafter received several calls within the week by fellow customers who were interested.
She said, “We meet every three weeks, and at each members house.”
“The person who hosts the meeting, chooses the book we read for that time interval,” Dr. Bader-Hull said.
Dr. Bader-Hull, who reads mostly fiction books, said “I find myself completing one book in as fast as three days.”
Customers such as Lewis and Bader-Hull said the store is ideal because customers do not have to buy the book or keep it forever.
Hastings said the Book Rack welcomes all customers and tries to encourage leisure reading.