DuBOIS — Rosie’s Book Shoppe on Midway Drive in DuBois strives to take people to another place and time through every story on its shelves.
Sherry Okonski and her husband, Don, are the owners. She has always loved to read and “get lost within a book.”
It’s her mission to make sure books don’t go to waste, and one should never be thrown away, Okonski says. Just as people recycle an aluminum can or a plastic bottle, they can recycle books by passing them along.
The shoppe was originally located in the DuBois Plaza and owned by Rosemary Holt, Okonski said. More room was needed for book space, hence the current location, which holds an estimated 12-15,000 “used not abused” books.
There are certain times throughout the year that they receive large numbers of books, such as when families are doing spring cleaning or getting rid of school or children’s books, Okonski says.
The store has many regulars, like customers who take home 20-30 books and read four our five at a time, Okonski said.
By passing stories from person to person, Okonski believes they are helping preserve and recycle books, rather than taking them to a landfill.
“You just can’t beat holding a book — you can’t get that from a kindle,” she said. “I find that it’s a good way to relax, just getting lost in a book.”
She has found little notes passed on in books brought in, too, such as, “I really enjoyed this book, and I hope you do, too.”
The people who appreciate holding a book in their hands, rather than looking at it on a screen, still like being able to find what they’re looking for on a shelf and not online, Okonski said. She also takes requests, and she can order books for which a customer is looking.
Besides being a hub for readers and old-fashioned book lovers, Okonski aims to participate in community activities and fundraisers.
For 13 years, ladies have been meeting for Rosie’s Book Club sessions once a month, where they pick a book and discuss it, Okonki said. People of all ages, including local teachers, attend and enjoy the comaraderie and fellowship.
“I try to be community oriented,” Okonski said. “If you’re in business here, you have to support the community.”
Rosie’s also holds a hat drive for the Penn Highlands DuBois Hahne Regional Cancer Center in the fall, where knitted and crocheted hats are donated.
The shoppe is a drop-off point for Haven House, a short-term homeless shelter in DuBois. Rosie’s also participates in “Operation Paperback,” an effort that donates books to soldiers in rehabilitation centers.
A book can be a way to de-stress and experience another world, or just to enjoy a story passed on by someone else, Okonski says.
Besides its aisles and aisles of book generations, the shoppe has its own children’s section in the back, where books for younger and high school-age students can be found.
One woman, who was recently dropping off numerous boxes of children’s books at Rosie’s, said, “I hope somebody enjoys them like we did.”
“There is always a home for a book,” Okonski said.
Rosie’s is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. To 2 p.m.
For more information, visit Rosie’s Book Shoppe on Facebook or www.rosiesbookshoppe.com.