Is there anything more fulfilling than a good, old-fashioned bookstore shopping spree? I don’t mean the “fill up the Amazon shopping cart” kind (fulfilling in an altogether different way), but the “holy shit I’ve been at this bookstore two hours, where has the time gone?” kind. I’m hard-pressed to think of anything more fun. But then I discovered Family Pathway’s Used Book Store up in North Branch. A magical place where bibliophiles like me can enjoy hours-long shopping extravaganza and barely dent their checking accounts.
♥ The prices: Pricing at this store is as straight-forward as it gets: $4 for hardcovers, $3 for paperbacks, $1 for clearance corner books, 99 cents for children’s books. When I visited, a sale on all gardening, craft and cookbooks was running, knocking 20 percent off books in those genres.
♥ The organization: When I first walked into this thrift, I honestly felt like I was at a cozy, small-town library. The shelves are clutter-free and every section is clearly identified, making it incredibly easy to zero-in on the sections you’re interested in.
♥ The collectible books section: Taking up a good portion of the back of the store is a categorized assortment of vintage and antique books. I found some serious gems back there, including some home-making and cook books, which were both discounted 20 percent.
♥ The clearance corner: Tucked in the back left corner is the ample-sized clearance corner, featuring a wide variety of books, all just $1.
Where does the money raised here go? To support Family Pathways’ many varied community services, including non-medical senior services like advocacy, respite care and companionship; food pantry access for individuals and families; and support for youth and teens like mentoring programs and after-school activities at their teen centers. Family Pathways serves communities in seven counties throughout Central Minnesota and Western Wisconsin and continues to add new services based on the needs of the community.
Forty-three dollars people, for 14 books, about half of them vintage.
Go here to find: Books!
Selection/Variety: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Quality: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Pricing: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Organization:♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Customer service: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Cleanliness: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Do they take credit cards? Yep!
One more money-saving tip: For every 10 pounds of books you donate, you’ll receive a book buck (that looks like a bookmark!) worth $1, for use that same day or on a future visit. They also give out one book buck for every $10 you spend!
While you’re there: Why not hit Recycled Wardrobes, the thrift store just a block down on Main Street? If you’re in the mood for coffee, every cup I’ve had from North Country Coffee has been super yum. (To learn more about Family Pathways’ other thrift stores, check out this post.)
Where it is: On North Branch’s main drag: 6381 Main Street, North Branch
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.