Lightly Used Books under new management

ANGELINA MARTIN/209 Business Journal
New Turlock residents David Wisniewski and Marisa Pish had already fallen in love with Lightly Used Books before they became its new owners in May.

When David Wisniewski and Marisa Pish first moved to Turlock, they immediately fell in love with the city’s downtown bookstore, Lightly Used Books. Less than a year later, the two are now proud owners of the shop and hope to make it a welcoming place for the community.

Valerie and Tim Brown first opened Lightly Used Books in July 2010, and after eight years of business decided to sell their first business endeavor this year— right around the same time that Wisniewski and Pish made the move from Merced to Turlock. Following a health scare that involved his heart failing him, Wisniewski and Pish moved to Turlock to be closer to family, Wisniewski said.

Immediately, the pair of book lovers were drawn to Lightly Used Books and its “massive” Science Fiction section, Wisniewski said. Inspired, he asked then-owner Tim Brown if he had any advice for someone who wanted to open up a used bookstore of their own.

“He told me, ‘It’s expensive to start a used bookstore. It’s a lot cheaper to buy one, and this one’s for sale,’” Wisniewski said. “After he said that, everything in my heart was bent towards buying it.”

The Browns lowered their asking price so that Wisniewski and Pish could afford to purchase the bookstore, Wisniewski said, even though there was another buyer who had offered to pay the full price. Wisniewski and Pish received the Browns’ blessing because they promised to keep much of the shop the same.

“Those other people would’ve turned it into a more profitable venture, for sure, but the bookstore would’ve lost its spirit,” Wisniewski said.

The two took over the store in May, and while Wisniewski and Pish plan on changing little inside of Lightly Used Books — the $30,000 that Tim Brown once spent on lumber for the store’s shelving will definitely remain — the store will see a few new developments, including expanded hours, a kid’s corner and kid’s reading nights, and even an open mic night featuring music, comedy and poetry. The store’s thousands of books will be arranged more specifically, Pish added, from broad genres like Fiction to more specific categories like Thriller, Mystery, Romance and more.

All of the new additions are meant to make the community feel as if they can spend as much time in the shop as they’d like, she said.

“We’re trying to make it more welcoming,” Pish said. “It’s a really large bookstore, but we’re still a small business.”

Name of business: Lightly Used Books

Type of business: Used bookstore

Location: 809 141 N. Center St.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday; Noon to 6 p.m., Sunday

Contact information: 209-656-7700