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40 years of fun and good books at Paperback Swap N Shop - The Galveston County Daily News : Texas City

December 22, 2014

40 years of fun and good books at Paperback Swap N Shop

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Posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 12:00 am | Updated: 11:40 am, Wed Mar 5, 2014.

When they say they’ve been having fun with books at Jane’s Paperback Swap N Shop for 40 years, they’re not kidding.

The staff of this quiet, cozy bookstore in Dickinson are avid readers and book enthusiasts, always ready to help customers find the perfect book, chat about reading in general, or just share a laugh and brighten your day.

“I want to be your favorite bookstore,” store owner Jane Gray said. “We provide all the services of a major chain. If you are looking for the newest hardcover, this is not the place. If you have to have it yesterday, this is not the place. But if you want to shop and find a depth of selection, or if you’re a reader that devours a book a day or even a book a week, we’re the place for you. We have more options, and we have fun!”

Changing with the times

They’re also learning to change as their customers are changing.

“A lot of people are moving to e-readers, so we’re adapting,” Jane said. “We have just become a Kobo outlet, so our customers can go to paper

backswapnshop.com, use the link for Kobo to shop through our store. It’s a great way to get millions of downloadable books and still keeping your local bookstore open!”

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.

Changes are coming in-store, too.

“We are rearranging our store,” Jane said. “We’re going to be increasing our selection of thrillers and suspense, with prices from $2.50 and less when you have trade credit or half-price without trade-ins. We have a great selection of books that are less than six months old.”

Same great service

Don’t worry, not everything is changing at this beloved bookstore.

Paperback Swap N Shop 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. 

No matter how high-tech reading may get, the store’s staff still aims to provide personalized attention to each customer. This has served them well, with most first-time customers quickly turning into regulars.

Paperback Swap N Shop’s primary business is still 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.

In the words of one happy customer, “Now I know what to do with all those paperbacks on my bookshelf!”

Paperback Swap N Shop also offer a selection of new books, which start at full price but come with a 25% discount with credit.

They also still have chairs on hand for customers who want to sit down and spend a few minutes test driving a book before taking it home, and as always a nook full of children and youth books can easily keep kids occupied and happy while mom and dad shop.

Books for Inmates

For families with a loved one in prison, Paperback Swap N Shop has decades of experience in mailing books, 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,” Gray said. “This is a great way for friends and families to provide support to their loved ones in prison. We also do grab bags of about 30 books that can be sent with free shipping.” 

They can also send books to the Galveston County Jail. 

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, located at 1115 FM 517 in Dickinson (between I-45 & Hwy 3), 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.