Crystal DeGiuseppe would drive nearly an hour to a bookstore selling books for $1 and wished there was something closer to her Fairfield home.
The book lover since her teenage years opened Gypsy Books in a spot at Trader’s World this year while balancing her full-time job. But that only lasted a couple of weeks before a brick-and-mortar location opened, which is a familiar building on Magie Avenue in Fairfield.
“One of the selling points the property owner told me is this was a bookstore back in the ‘70s,” she said of the spot at 1085 Magie Avenue most known as the original location of the Fairfield Food Pantry that moved in 2018. “They know exactly where I am so that’s been a little bit of a benefit for me.”
DeGiuseppe will open her new location on Saturday to sell the books she’s acquired over the years ― about 8,000 currently ― as well as a few other items. The books will be $1 for paperbacks and $2 for hardcovers, with a few exceptions, and her non-book items aren’t expected to exceed $5.
“I love books and I love cheap books,” said DeGiuseppe. And her hope is that people have a similar passion as she believes, “There’s a book for everybody and a home for every book.”
Fairfield Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kert Radel said it’s great when a business is willing to open a new venture “and willing to take a risk because there’s always a risk.”
“I hope the community will embrace such a store where they would want to get books available to the public,” said Radel. “To see a business now open up, I think that’s an indication, a little bit, that we’re possibly back on the road to recovery.”
DeGiuseppe is cataloging the thousands of books she has, so she said the story may not be in perfect condition on opening day Saturday, but it will get there, she said.
“I want to be an affordable bookstore for all of my fellow book lovers and I want to save the books from being thrown away,” she said.
Available books range from just about everything, she said, including educational and reference books (including foreign language dictionaries) to bibles, cookbooks, and fiction and nonfiction books. She’s even been offered old sheet music from a local woman’s great-grandfather.
“It’s meant for somebody. It just needs to be put out there for somebody to find,” she said, and she’ll take donations (though donations are not tax-deductible) because “it’s not doing anybody any good sitting in your basement.”
The bookstore is “a dream come true,” DeGiuseppe said, adding this business venture is expanding her passion and hobby of reading, albeit “an expensive hobby.”
“I’m not looking to make a huge profit,” she said. “Obviously I’d like to make enough to pay the rent. I love books so much it’s not really about the money.”
The store will be open three days a week as DeGiuseppe has a full-time job. Hours are set to be 10 to 5 p.m. Fridays, and 9 to 5 on Saturdays and Sundays.
IF YOU GO
Gypsy Books will open three days a week: 10 to 5 p.m. Fridays, and 9 to 5 on Saturdays and Sundays
Location: 1085 Magie Avenue
More information: www.facebook.com/GypsyBooksOnlyADollar
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