Danielle Stewart sorts through a pile of used books donated to Nuthatch Books. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Danielle Stewart sorts through a pile of used books donated to Nuthatch Books. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Nuthatch Books bought by an avid local reader

Danielle Stewart is determined to make her favourite bookstore thrive

When Nuthatch Books went up for sale this summer, Danielle Stewart didn’t want to see the end of her favourite bookstore.

On a leap of faith, the former receptionist at RE/MAX 100 Mile House decided to buy it with her husband Jon.

“I didn’t want to have to drive to Kamloops or Williams Lake to buy books,” she said. “I love coming in here and I love to read and I didn’t want to lose the bookstore if someone ended up buying it other than me.”

Stewart, 35, took over the reins on Sept. 16 from outgoing owner Joy Gawne, who retired after owning the store for over a decade. Despite the rising popularity of e-books, Stewart said she has been surprised at how busy the bookstore is, noting it draws up to 30 customers a day. She credits this to the store’s mix of new titles and used books, as well as the public’s penchant to read and shop local.

“People just really like being able to come in here and look around, it’s comfortable,” she said, adding she is able to get almost any book available on Amazon. “People in 100 Mile House really thrive on supporting local. I love receiving shipments of books, it’s like Christmas and my birthday every time.”

Stewart said she doesn’t plan to make any big changes to the shop, but would like to bring in a few alterations. As a youngster, she had dreams of opening her own metaphysical shop and would like to incorporate some elements into the store such as crystals, tarot cards, pottery and other eclectic items. She’d also like to sell small gift items although her focus will remain on books.

She added she would like to continue the tradition of featuring the works of local authors in the store. She’s still figuring out consignment but intends to stock the shelves with South Cariboo writers.

“I don’t have any aspirations for expansion or moving from this spot, I think it’s pretty great the way it is,” Stewart said. “Don’t get me wrong, I love wandering around a Chapters and smelling the coffee but there’s just something more personal about the Nuthatch.”

Stewart, who loves reading fantasy novels with rich world-building that immerses her in their narratives, said her favourite part of the bookstore experience is chatting with others about what they’re reading and giving recommendations. She said her favourite childhood book was The Giver and her favourite author right now is Sarah J. Maas.

“That brief exchange of talking about books with regulars who come in (is great). I’m getting to know people and they seem really quite friendly and overjoyed the bookstore will still be here and that I’m not changing everything,” Stewart said. “It’s really nice to hear that from people.”

Donations of used books are still welcome. Patrons can either give them for free or accept a 25 per cent credit based on the book’s cover value to use at the store. Stewart will also offer 10 per cent of the Canadian cover value in cash, if the donor prefers.

Nuthatch Books is open Tuesdays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stewart said she’s eventually hoping to hire someone so they can be open all week.



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

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Used books make up a large part of Nuthatch Books’ collection which Danielle Stewart enjoys sorting through and shelving in between customers. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Used books make up a large part of Nuthatch Books’ collection which Danielle Stewart enjoys sorting through and shelving in between customers. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Used books make up a large part of Nuthatch Books’ collection which Danielle Stewart enjoys sorting through and shelving in between customers. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Used books make up a large part of Nuthatch Books’ collection which Danielle Stewart enjoys sorting through and shelving in between customers. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Danielle Stewart is the new owner of Nuthatch Books in 100 Mile House and said she’s loved the experience so far. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Danielle Stewart is the new owner of Nuthatch Books in 100 Mile House and said she’s loved the experience so far. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)