It might have been serendipitous electronic failure that turned Jane Gray into a young bibliophile when the TV went black in the summer ‘68.
“Either that or good parenting,” Gray said.
The mishap sent her cartwheeling through classics as a child, beginning with Jack London’s “Call of the Wild.” It wasn’t until much later that she discovered the television wasn’t broken, only unplugged. But, by then the power of story had taken hold.
This literary love affair became a career when Gray began working at Walden Books in 1978, then part-time at Paperback Swap N Shop in 1989, where she eventually became the store manager and, in 2005, the owner. Gray and her two employees, Michael and Suzy, have a combined 60 years of experience helping people find their favorite books.
“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 month, we’re the place for you,” Gray said.
If they don’t have it Jane and gang will order it for you and even have it delivered to your house.
Those visiting the store will find customers are free to peruse the floor to ceiling selection at a leisurely pace and discover books they never knew existed.
“This place is a tide pool. I never know what’s going to come in, and there’s free air-conditioning all summer long,” Gray said.
When it comes time to check out, used books start at half-off the cover price. The best deals happen, though, when you bring in an equal value of paperback trade-in.
There are also competitive prices available for Paperback Swap N Shop’s more tech-savvy customers that access Kobu through paperbackswapnshop.com.
“It’s a way to support your local bookstore online, so that when you want to pay less for the real thing, we’ll still be open,” Gray said.
Paperback Swap N Shop is located at 1115 FM 517 in Dickinson between I-45 & Hwy 3. For further details about the price structure, call the store at 281-534-3370 or visit them online at paperbackswapnshop.com. 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.
Paperback Swap N Shop Has Books For All
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.