Monday, March 16, 2009

I charge five dollars to people who come in ...

Books fill almost every inch of the Antiquarian Bookstore in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Owner Walter Wakefield inherited his love of books.
"My family has in much part been in selling books since the 16th century in England. We had thousands of books and magazines and a lot of them were up in the attic and it was always a fun treasure house to go and dig into when I was a kid."
He began selling books when he was eleven and founded this store 36 years ago.
There are more than 250-thousand books in here from best sellers to older books worth thousands. He doesn't use a computer to keep track of them either.
Walter has been robbed 13 times over the years - so he does something unusual.
"I charge five dollars to people who come in and say i don't have anything else to do, i just want to get warm, I want to see what's in here. People who don't read."
The entrance fee is applied to purchases of 25 dollars or more. Repeat customers, friends and sellers aren't charged. Walter admits not everyone likes the fee, but crime, damage and mess have dropped since he started it in 1994.(read more...)

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