Special to the Hampton Union
Hampton Union, Tuesday, June 3, 2008
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
[John Carden photo]
HAMPTON — Hampton has a "new" used bookstore.
Volumes opened earlier this month in the Hampton Village Plaza, 387 Lafayette Road, just south of the traffic light at the High Street/Exeter Road intersection.
Volumes has more than 20,000 used books of every description, as well as other related product lines, according to owner Gordon Lane. These include greeting cards, post cards and collectible cards, especially baseball cards and ephemera.
Ephemera, Lane said, refers to collected paper, such as old newspapers and magazines, particularly those editions of note that have covered a war or other catastrophe, a death or assassination or major sporting event. Ephemera also include ads, handbills, posters, ticket stubs, political items and a wide variety of other collected paper items.
"We have all of those things, and more," Lane said, noting the ephemera share a room filled with antiquarian books — volumes that date back as far as 1716. "That is the oldest book we have but we have many others that were published between the mid 1800s to the 1930s."
Volumes also has more than 100 books signed by the authors and a modest selection of books on tape and large-print books.
While the older books are of interest to the collector, there are thousands of books of more general interest, arranged by category. From fiction to religion, to books of and about New England to Antarctica, science to parenting and history to cooking, gardening and crafts, sports to music and art, elder services and large print books to mysteries, science fiction and horror and dozens of other categories, there are books for just about every taste, Lane said.
He added he has a large portion of the store devoted to children's and young adult books.
[John Carden photo]
"Even though the shelves are full, only about half of our inventory is out," Lane said. "We still have lots of books to price and put on the shelves."
Therefore, he isn't interested in buying or trading books at present. However, pricing is an area of concern. Lane said the name "Volumes," reflects in part his goal to move "volumes" — large quantities of books. Therefore, he works to price books at or below the cost of the cheapest comparable books anywhere on the Internet.
Lane, a Hampton resident for almost 10 years, operated a "Volumes" bookstore in Maine and, more recently, in Reading, Mass., the latter as a sideline to another business he operated there. However, the building owner recently demolished much of that building, forcing Lane to seek another location. Unable to relocate both businesses, he decided to concentrate on the book business, opening Volumes here.
A self-described "bibliophile" or book lover, Lane displays at book fairs throughout New England and plans to continue doing so, as well as selling online, a practice he had to give up previously, "because I just had too many irons in the fire," he said. He is now looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones five days a week in Volumes' new location in Hampton.
Open Wednesdays through Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. in the corner of the L-shaped plaza, next to the Famous Boot store.