Melinda Krick/Paulding County Progress
	Buy the Book volunteer Jane Caserta (left) accepts a donation from Antwerp resident Mary Boesch-Meyer for the books she has selected. Buy the Book is extending its hours during April.
Melinda Krick/Paulding County Progress Buy the Book volunteer Jane Caserta (left) accepts a donation from Antwerp resident Mary Boesch-Meyer for the books she has selected. Buy the Book is extending its hours during April.
By JACOB SWEET

Progress Staff Writer

PAULDING — “The bookstore is the best-kept secret in the county.”

That is how Buy the Book volunteer Jane Caserta describes the local free-will donation bookstore that is an annex of The Paulding County Carnegie Library.

This small bookstore is run by volunteers like Caserta, who donates her time on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-noon to make sure this bookstore is ready to serve the public with all the books stocked and in order.

Buy the Book has all sorts of children’s books, cookbooks, educational books for homeschooled kids and many more.

“It is starting to spread that we have some unique books,” said Friends of the Library treasurer Sam Clippinger.

All proceeds raised through the free-will donations are given back to the library to be used for entertainment expenses that come with all the different events the library puts on in a year’s time. Buy the Book is a non-profit exempted bookstore.

The most money raised in a month’s time was between $200-$300 during the four-day U.S. 127 World’s Longest Yard Sale in August.

Chris Mesker of Defiance said that she found this bookstore during the U.S. 127 yard sale and returns because of the variety of books offered.

“I keep coming back because they have so many books,” Mesker said. “There’s such a good selection here.”

The Friends of the Library staff want you consider Buy the Book before throwing any old books away, so you can hopefully make a difference for someone in the community.

The Friends of the Library take these donated books to the community pool, the hospital and other places where there is waiting time and then the books that are not dispersed throughout the county are available right there in the store.

“I enjoy when kids come in and see all the children’s books on the shelves,” Caserta said. “Their eyes light up and they’re so excited.”

In 1988, Buy the Book went dormant because people lost interest, but it reopened in 2013, with just $300 left over from when it closed down in the late 1980s.

Buy the Book has extended its hours in April for their Celebrate into Spring merriment.

On Wednesdays and Thursdays, it will be open from 3:30-7:30 p.m. and then Fridays from 3:30-5:30 p.m., along with its regular Saturday hours.

“Friends of the Library is so proud of our library and our bookstore,” said Friends of the Library president Vicki Wilhelm. “We really encourage people to come in and check it out.”

The Friends of the Library is made up of around 10-15 members, but Clippinger says they are always looking for new members who are interested in volunteering.

Along with Buy the Book, the library also offers a book club called Book Worms that is open to the public. It meets every second Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the meeting room.

Another entity of the library is the Bookmobile, which serves people who cannot get out of their homes or don’t have transportation to get to the library.

This Bookmobile travels to different locations that is in walking distance for the people who cannot get to the library to pick up a book.

Once a book from the Bookmobile is checked out, library officials say it should be returned back in a timely fashion just like at the main library.