On the corner of Manhattan Avenue and Moro Street sits The Dusty Bookshelf, a store that, much like a phoenix, rose from ashes. The building was badly damaged in a 2017 fire that broke out during renovations, the flames devouring the freshly stained floors.
Sarah Wilson, store manager, said the Manhattan community supported the store in the months after the fire. Customers asked when — not if — the store would be back.
While the fire was a setback, rebuilding was an opportunity. The Dusty Bookshelf incorporated new products, services and design elements as it prepared to open its doors again.
Before the fire, Wilson said the store dealt solely in used books. Now, the shelves are stocked with a mix of new books and old.
“I do all the ordering since we’ve started carrying new titles now as well, so that’s a new venture for us,” Wilson said. “We’re getting into a lot [of] reordering titles, merchandise, that kind of thing. The coffee side is also brand new as well — so that’s been an adventure.”
The store also keeps a list of requests for specific books and makes special orders for customers.
“We will remain mostly used books for the rest of time,” Wilson said. “But we get some titles that are always being requested — which we just get super excited about because we’re book people.”
Kaleb Roberts, freshman in elementary education, said he likes the remodeled bookstore.
“It’s a really nice atmosphere,” Roberts said. “It’s a really good place to grab a good book and just relax for a bit. The kind of books they have are interesting and unique.”
At 8 p.m. on Friday, the store will host two bands for a $5 cover charge — Betty the Astronaut and Golden Shoulders.