GREENVILLE — Pam Shively was a little emotional when recalling the arson fire that damaged The Book Store on Pine Street last year.
It was an understandable response given the time it has taken to get things back to normal after a fire in an adjacent garage spread to other buildings, including the book store, in October 2018.
Shively recalls being awakened at 2 a.m. by a phone call from the fire department on Oct. 6. The store had been subject to a substantial amount of damage — fire, smoke, but mostly water — with the loss of an estimated 1,500 books.
For the next year, Shively anticipated the day when she could reopen, but it was a lengthy process. At the start, books had to be inventoried for damage with Barnhizer & Associates, Inc. of Richmond, Ind. which specializes in water, fire, and mold restoration at the helm.
The books were packed away for restoration work in a process, according to Shively, that utilizes ozone.
“I was a little surprised,” said Shively on the restoration process that she had heard of before, referencing the Browse Awhile Books fire in historic downtown Tipp City in 2016.
The book removal alone took two weeks, continued Shively. She shared the loss of paperback titles as well as some hardback books that included westerns, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz.
As time passed, customers began to inquire about and anticipate the bookstore’s reopening as much as Shively as she said, “They stopped me in the stores, ‘when you going to be open?’”
Some customers even made it a point to stop by the store while it was still undergoing renovations.
Today, there is, of course, no evidence there was ever a fire. The Book Store officially reopened in October with Shively thanking the numerous volunteers who assisted in the unpacking and shelving of some 700 boxes of books.
Once again, thousands of books line the shelves. The titles include everything from children’s literature to pop culture favorites such as Star Wars and Star Trek, as well as historical novels, signed editions, and a variety of memorabilia.
The Book Store is offering a 20 percent discount now through the holiday season.
Shively has owned The Book Store since 1989 after Carol Harless initially opened it.
The Book Store is open Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 307 Pine St., Greenville. Contact (937) 548-7188 for more information.