The rules of the Paperback Swap N Shop in Dickinson are simple:
1) If you have a question, you have to ask.
2) If you do not have fun, do not come back.
Thanks to the fun and energetic staff, the rules are easy to follow.
The store was opened in 1971 by Marie Stimson. In 1989, Jane Gray joined the staff part-time, eventually becoming the store manager and, in 2005, the owner.
Ms. Gray and her two employees, Michael and Suzy, have a combined 60 years of experience selling books. Their goal is to provide personalized attention to each customer. This has served them well, with most first-time customers quickly turning into regulars.
“Because we’re smaller, we have a more intimate relationship with our customers,” Ms. Gray said. “We can be more responsive to their needs. We get to know what they want, what they like.”
The store’s primary business is selling used books, from reference material to romance series. Used books start at ½ off the cover price. If you have books on your shelves that you no longer need, bring them in for trade. You can get discounts to ¼ price with equal value trade-in paperbacks.
They also offer a selection of new books, which start at full price but come with a 25 percent discount with credit.
If you’re looking for a book that’s not available in store, the staff at Paperback Swap N Shop is always happy to order for you. You can even place orders for books before they are released and get a call when the book comes in or have orders delivered to your home.
Paperback Swap N Shop keeps chairs on hand for customers who want to sit down and spend a few minutes test driving a book before taking it home, and a nook full of children and youth books can easily keep kids occupied and happy while mom and dad shop.
When you need a good book but don’t have anything specific in mind, just stop by to browse. The staff is happy to offer suggestions and help you find the right book to take home.
Looking for an old, out of print or hard to find book? That’s even better.
“One of our favorite feelings is when we have that one book a customer has been trying to find for a very long time,” Gray said. “There’s nothing like that feeling, like finding treasure.”
Books for Inmates
For families with a loved one in prison, Paperback Swap N Shop has decades of experience in mailing books, stationery, calendars and puzzles to inmates in accordance with Texas Department of Criminal Justice rules.
“If you know someone in prison, you can’t directly mail them a book. It has to come from a bookstore. Stationery has to meet certain specifications,” Gray said.
The store also offers grab bags of about 30 books that can be sent with free shipping.
You can stop by or call to place an order, or find out more about how to send a TDCJ-approved package to your loved one by visiting http://imailtoprison.com.
Stop by the Paperback Swap N Shop today, located at 1115 FM 517 in Dickinson, or give them a call at 281-534-3370. The store is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.