Fine Arts and Fest

(Finley/2014)

The Bookshelf

“You can’t just cut open an eyeball and say, “Look! Enlightenment!”’ I was sitting in my Literary Theory class and my professor, Dr. Wilkes, who I am convinced looks like Jimmy Neutron’s dad, was off on one of his famous ramblings. These usually ended with either a question we didn’t know how to answer, or a statement so ridiculous it could only come from him. Today it was the latter, and I chuckled a bit as I wrote it down at the top of my notes. I started doing this at the beginning of the semester in order to remember the countless amount of topics we covered, but also so my friends and I could laugh about them later. Finals were now two weeks away and I had accumulated quite a few quotes from him.

I begin with this anecdote to explain how being an English major has impacted my life. When I decided to pursue English, I was met with quite a bit of criticism, usually from people that didn’t know me well enough to be making such statements. I heard everything from, “You’ll never get anywhere with that” to, “How are you going to feed yourself?” For the record, I’m feeding myself just fine. Anyway, what I learned as an English major is incredibly valuable. I know how to write a proper essay and argue my points. I can edit and proofread so well that I’ve been asked to help with a friend’s doctoral dissertation. I’ve also become very well read. My bookshelf is filled with James Joyce, Willa Cather, Shakespeare, Flannery O’Connor, and pretty much every Norton English Anthology on the market. That is one of the most important things being an English major has taught me: how to love books. Every time I go to a bookstore, I am in awe of the literature we as a people have produced. Quite a few of my beloved books have come from The Bookshelf in Medina, Ohio.

The Bookshelf is located right on Medina’s historic square. Started in 2008, it is a nonprofit used bookstore whose proceeds go to Project Learn, an adult literacy program. It enables adults to get their G.E.D, learn English as a second language, and learn basic literary skills as well as have access to tutors. The Bookshelf also has two other locations in Brunswick and Wadsworth.

The store itself is quite small, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in variety. Each shelf is organized by category, and they have everything from Classics and poetry to self-help and science. They accept book donations daily and the volunteers are incredibly kind and helpful. It may take a bit of searching, but you can find some real gems there. I once found an old copy of The Complete Works of Shakespeare that was published and printed right in Cleveland. Unfortunately, I already own a copy of Will’s works so the beauty went back on the shelf. My sister acquired a nearly flawless copy of the play The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, which if you haven’t read it, you absolutely must. Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “What’s all this going to cost me?” Honestly, next to nothing! Hardcover books are $3.25, standard paperbacks and children’s’ books are $1.25, and trade paperbacks are $2.25. I once walked out with eight books. You simply can’t beat a deal like that.
The Bookshelf
105 W Liberty St, Medina, OH 44256
(330) 723-1314
Mon-Fri: 10am to 5pm
Saturday: 10am to 4pm
Sunday: CLOSED