PINELLAS PARK, Fla. – Every day across Tampa Bay, the best books are being thrown out because the owners don’t want them anymore. That’s where the new husband and wife business comes in. They call themselves Book Rescuers, and they opened another location in Pinellas Park this month.
What started as a few hundred books in their driveway less than two years ago, has grown into a warehouse, with more than a mile of shelves filled with more than 60,000 used books, records and DVDs.
“Fortunately I married someone as crazy as me because it’s not only the hardest job we’ve ever had but also the most rewarding job we’ve ever had,” said owner George Brooks.
The Book Rescuers take on a new role every day.
“Companies sell real estate, clean up companies, so they could have disposed of it,” Brooks said.
George and his wife Sarah refuse to reject any name or author, both are welcome on their shelves.
“If you have a passion for books, think of something like that while throwing out the trash, think that there are many other book readers out there who love books like we do,” said Sarah.
Most books are being resold for between $1 and $3.
“Teachers always get half the holiday because they don’t have to spend any money first,” said George.
Rescuers feel a sense of responsibility, especially when donations come from community members.
“A nice little old lady in June of last year came, ‘my books are my most treasured possessions, and I know what my children and grandchildren will do when I pass away.’ Can I put you in my will because I know you will find them the loving homes they deserve,” said George.
They said you never know what might be found in the next donation box. It’s like a treasure hunt.
“The original 1977 Star Wars soundtrack and everything in it is a dollar, how cool is that, and it would have been wasted,” said George.
The Book Rescuers have already acquired a base of loyal customers, some of whom arrive with wish lists.
“I have several titles, I go from writer to writer,” said customer Ginny Wilson.
“We see that people have come in here and found books that they have been looking for for 34 years, crying,” said George.
George and Sarah said the best part is sharing the experience with people who are just as passionate about reading as they are.
“This is their happy place and how happy it is to be together with other people in your happy place,” said George.