By Mark I. West
December 29, 2021 (updated)
Photo: Garrett Simmons
Book Buyers, one of Charlotte’s premier used bookstores, is not closing, but moving from its original Plaza Midwood location. Come February 2022, Book Buyers will reopen in the Eastway Crossing shopping center, located at the intersection of Eastway Drive and Central Avenue.
For the last week in its original location, the store announced via Facebook a moving sale, discounting all used books by 50%. Lee Rathers, who runs the store with her father, Richard Rathers, held the sale in an effort to reduce the number of books they’ll have to move to the new location. The sale has attracted many patrons looking to take advantage of the discounted prices and a shop at the original location one last time.
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Lee and Richard Rathers did not want to leave the Midwood Corners shopping center. The store originally opened in 1999, and the Rathers have long enjoyed being part of the Plaza Midwood neighborhood. However, when the new owner of Midwood Corners nearly doubled their rent, the Rathers knew they either had to move or close. Fortunately, like many, they found a suitable and affordable space in the Eastway Crossing shopping center, where locally owned businesses like Bart’s Mart, EastSide Local Eatery, VisArt Video, Tommy’s Pub, Open Door Studios, The Dog Salon and Armada Skate Shop reside. For Lee, the fact that VisArt Video is located in the same shopping center is also a plus. “I’m looking forward to having VisArt as a neighbor. I think our businesses appeal to the same sort of customers,” she said.
The new space is about the same size as the original 4,000-square-foot space, so the Rathers will not be forced to scale back their inventory. However, the ceiling at Eastway Crossing isn’t as high, so they aren’t likely to bring the yellow airplane that has hung for years at the store. The Greener Apple, the mini vegan grocery store inside Book Buyers, is expected to join them at the new spot, although the bookstore will be first priority. Still, longtime customers of Book Buyers will be pleased to know that Deena, the bookstore cat, will be making the move.
“Deena will be part of the new store. Book Buyers would not be Book Buyers without Deena. We want to keep the store the same as possible,” Lee said.
Book Buyers plans on opening the new store at Eastway Crossing shopping center (located at 3040 Eastway Dr.) on February 1, 2022. The moving sale at the current location will run until 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 1. Follow updates on Book Buyers Facebook and Instagram.