Photo by Karen Hunt (book store is inside library)
Photo by Karen Hunt (book store is inside library)

I love books. Some women sneak clothes into the house. I sneak in books.
My kids love books, too, and so does my husband. We’re all book lovers. Books, however, can be expensive, very expensive. The book habit is especially expensive with children, who naturally are fickle..and destructive (at least mine are).
For me, the solution is the Friends of the Troy Public Library Used Book Shop. The selection is good…the staff is friendly…and the prices are almost nil. If you make a purchase, you get a free Tootsie Roll. What more can you want?
The selection is huge. Some of the books are discards from the library itself, but most are donations, which makes me realize that Troy residents are BIG readers. The stock ranges from old records to a current issue of a magazine. There’s also a heavy emphasis on computers and business books. The bookstore doesn’t just carry printed material. You can buy software, DVDs, CDs, and even videos.
One of the most striking parts of the store is the section for children and teens. You got kids, they got books, most of which are fifty cents. The selection ranges from classics, such as Little House on the Prairie books to Blue’s Clues books. Homeschooling moms will find a wealth of resources. Not only are there plenty of workbooks at a discounted price, but a large cart near the front of the shop is filled with educational books and videos.
My children want to see what I bring home for them from the library. They are so excited! Both of them are really fond of the children’s videos I bring home, but they also love books, especially anything to do with Blue’s Clues.
Teens will find the books to fulfill reading requirements from Troy Public Schools in their own section, and test preparation books for the ACT and SAT are often available.
One of the best things about the bookstore is its staff. They’re all “book people.” If you need a suggestion on what to read next, they usually can give you some good ideas. Unlike big name bookstores, the volunteers who run the place are always willing to chat, especially about books.
The best thing for me is the price. Most of the inventory is a dollar or less. It’s great to see children being able to buy books with their allowances and senior citizens get some good reading material, but anyone can benefit from the low prices. It’s a win-win situation from the library, too. The money earned goes to help keep the library programs going, and with times as they are, that’s a really good thing.
The book shop is only open Friday and Saturday from 10am to 1pm and Sunday 1pm to 4pm. It’s located at the lower level of the library, at 510 W. Big Beaver Road.

Karen Hunt lives in Oakland County with her wonderful husband and two children. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Karen has been a stockbroker, freelance writer and substitute teacher. A lifelong Michigander, her French roots in Detroit go back three hundred years. This combination of education, work experience and being an expert about the Detroit area has made her savvy to having fun and style with her family on a budget in Oakland County.

News Reporter
Courtney is the traveling mom! She has 3 girls and is the founder of Detroit Mommies and currently lives in Florida. You can follow her on Twitter @courtneyRVL.
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