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Thursday, June 29, 2017


After many years of running a successful bookstore in Wellsboro, a local couple is ready to move on to new pursuits. But they're not selling their bookstore using a traditional method. They're offering one person the chance to win a bookstore for $75.

Kevin and Kasey Coolidge started From My Shelf Books & Gifts in their hometown in 2006. It was their dream to give Wellsboro a bookstore with both new and used books.

"There wasn't a bookstore in Wellsboro when I was growing up, and there wasn't one when I met Kasey," said Kevin. Both Kevin and Kasey were selling books part-time when they met. They merged inventories and soon outgrew their apartment. When space opened up downtown in 2006, they decided to take the leap to retail.

"It's been a fun, learning experience," said Kevin. "Now, I'm writing on a regular basis and have started doing author visits to schools. My children's series, ‘The Totally Ninja Raccoons’ is taking off and we have agreed that it is time for the next phase of our life," he added.

During the 11 years that Kevin and Kasey have operated the Wellsboro bookstore, they've developed a clientele that goes beyond loyalty; the store is part of the community and friends have become family. A regular customer even proposed marriage to his sweetheart there.

Rather than liquidate the stock, the couple decided that Wellsboro needs a bookstore, and asked themselves why someone else should have to start from scratch.

"My husband and I grew up here, and Wellsboro deserves a bookstore," said Kasey. "Kevin thought it would be nice to be able to pay it forward and give someone else the opportunity, especially since starting a business is hard."

The contest is simple. Contestants pay a $75 entry fee and write a 250-word essay on why a bookstore is important to a community.

"We need at least 4,000 entries in our contest to cover our current inventory, shelves, signage and six months of paid rent," Kevin said.

Entries must be postmarked by March 31, 2018. "We do hold the right to extend the deadline for 60 days depending on the number of entries received by then," he noted.

"It may sound like a lot, but people who love books tend to be writers, and what booklover wouldn't want their own bookstore," said Kevin. "If it has always been your dream to own a bookstore, this is your chance. You don't have to run it like we do. It can be your own thing - your dream come true."

If 4,000 people enter the contest, Kevin and Kasey will select the top 20. Then a panel of impartial judges will choose a winner. “For $75 and an essay, someone could win their own bookstore,” Kevin said.

If 4,000 entries are not received, all entry fees will be returned, and the couple will continue to run the bookstore.

For the list of rules and an entry form, visit From My Shelf Books & Gifts' website at www.wellsborobookstore.com or the Facebook page beginning this Saturday, July 1 or call Kasey and Kevin at 570-724-5793.

Kevin and Kasey Coolidge are shown in front of From My Shelf Books & Gifts bookstore in Wellsboro.

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