Kids among loyal patrons at Warren’s Friends’ Bookstore
Sean Taylor, 9, of Warren, and his grandmother, Mary Ann Kettler, right, visited the Friends’ Bookstore on June 30. Naida Okray, left, president of the Friends, said Kids Club memberships cost just $1 a year.
Posted July 11, 2017
» click to enlarge «
The Friends’ Bookstore is located at 5961 Beebe Ave. The store is open from 9 a.m. to noon each Friday and every third Saturday of the month. This summer, it will also be open from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays through Aug. 2.
WARREN — What can you get for a buck these days?
If you’re 13 and younger, $1 will get you into the Friends of the Warren Public Library’s Kids Club. And that means access to 12 free children’s books at one of the city’s true hidden gems.
Tucked away in the old Warren Village Hall on Beebe Avenue east of Mound Road and just south of Chicago Road, the Friends’ Bookstore offers a constantly rotating selection of books, magazines and recorded media at bargain basement prices.
Patrons of all ages will find books and materials spanning all genres, most priced from 10 cents to $2, assembled on shelves organized by topic and alphabetized by author. All of the materials are donated, and the proceeds from sales and cash donations help the Friends support programs offered by the Warren Public Library.
“I came in, found out about it, so I figured I’d sign up,” said Sean Taylor, 9, of Warren, a student at Wilde Elementary.
Taylor paid a dollar, received his card and said he enjoys graphic novels and comics, mostly, for his summer reading.
His grandmother, Mary Ann Kettler, of Warren, said she likes the store because it allows her to try new books at no risk.
“I love to read. I like the fact that I can come in and buy a book and not pay full price,” Kettler said. “If I don’t like the author, I’m not out a lot.”
Dawn and Andrea Haslett, of Sterling Heights, visit libraries across the state together and have been coming to the Friends’ Bookstore for years.
“They have everything. It’s nice to browse, feel the book in your hand and open it. You can’t do that online,” Dawn Haslett said.
The overstock from the flood of generously donated books and materials doesn’t go to waste. Joanne Rosseel, a volunteer at the Fraser Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6691, said she regularly takes books to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit. Others are used to stock the popular “little libraries” springing up in yards throughout the area.
Naida Okray, president of the Friends, said the space that houses the store was once used by the Warren Fire Department. Her father worked there as a volunteer fireman. Shelves of books now line what used to be the apparatus bays. DVDs, CDs and other media are now arranged in the kitchen.
“There’s a lot of history,” Okray said.
She said more than 100 kids have joined the Kids Club since it began on Jan. 2. Members get more than a dozen free books.
“They get an opportunity to give us ideas, tell us what they like and how we can be more effective for them,” Okray said.
The Friends’ Bookstore is located at 5961 Beebe Ave. The store is open from 9 a.m. to noon every Friday and each third Saturday of the month. This summer, it will also be open from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays through Aug. 2.
About the author
Staff Writer Brian Louwers covers the cities of Warren and Center Line. He has worked for C & G Newspapers since 1998 and is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. In his free time, he participates in the Michigan State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program and conducts interviews with military veterans for the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.
More from C & G Newspapers
Bloomfield Township / Bloomfield Hills
Shelby Township / Warren
Grosse Pointe Woods