Running a small, local bookstore might seem like a difficult business to be in amid an electronic and online age. But Holt Bookshelf owner, Laura Stanburg, has found her niche in the business for over 10 years. Stanburg worked in the book industry for a number of years, before opening Holt Bookshelf. Previously, she worked at another used bookstore in Holt. When the store closed, she decided to use it as an opportunity to start her own store.
“I hated to lose my job,” Stanburg says. “I liked what I did; I liked my customers. So I went home and asked my husband if maybe we could buy some of the books and start our own.”
Stanburg bought out some of the inventory, worked with the previous owner to form contacts with suppliers, and opened the doors in February of 2012. The Holt Bookshelf is a new and used bookstore that sells everything from children’s books to books on religion, fiction, textbooks, and so much more.
Stanburg used to buy all the store’s books locally in Holt until her supplier went out of business a few years ago. But she has continued to find outlets to provide the community with new and relevant books. Since she works with various suppliers for used books, she will get in other items besides books frequently. This includes items such as toys, games, and t-shirts.
The bookstore also specializes in Michigan books, which Stanburg makes a priority to keep in stock. “We have a lot of people who come in just for the Michigan books,” Stanburg says.
The Holt Bookshelf will buy books from the public for an in-store credit. They accept 25 books at a time. Books should be in good condition and should be paperback. Preference is given to books printed in the past two years. They also accept DVDs, audio books, games, and puzzles. Customers can use 70% of their store credit towards a purchase.
Stanburg runs a number of half-off sales through the year, particularly around holidays. The next half-off sale will be the third weekend in February to celebrate the Holt Bookshelf’s 10 Year Anniversary.
While selling and buying books can be a tough business, Stanburg is grateful that her store is celebrating 10 years in 2022. “I still enjoy what I do. I still enjoying getting up ang going to work every day and talking to people,” she says. “It’s a great job. Everybody’s happy to be here.”
And Holt has been the perfect community to embrace her small business. “I’m not originally from Holt, but my husband is. It’s just a nice little community and everybody seems to want to help each other. I like the small-town feeling.”
The Holt Bookshelf is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from Noon to 4 p.m. The bookstore is located at 2495 N. Cedar Street, 16B in Holt, 517.699.1010, facebook.com/holtbookshelf.