Stone Soup Books in Waynesboro rescues books to connect people through story

Published: May. 22, 2023 at 12:39 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) - A bookstore in Waynesboro is working to find new homes for old books.

Stone Soup Books rescues books of all kinds from ending up in the trash or even just being forgotten about and collecting dust on a shelf.

Instead, owner Mary Katharine Froehlich, finds those books a new home and someone who can appreciate the story inside.

“These are things that mean a lot to people, either themselves, they are part of their identity, or it’s their family member’s who they’ve lost,” Froehlich said.

So, whether you’re moving or downsizing, and you need to part with some books, there could be someone looking for what you’re getting rid of.

“We’ve had people who were looking for books that they had as a child, a certain edition, had a certain look to it, maybe vintage, and they want that to go to their grandchild or they want it to go to their children, so that’s real important,” Froehlich explained.

The books that Stone Soup takes can be sold on consignment for you.

“I had a gentleman who was, I think, evicted from his home, so he had an immediate need, and he had tons, and tons, and tons of books,” Froehlich said. “I say don’t expect a lot. We’re book sellers here. Books are books, but, I think, the idea that it’s going to somebody else who will value it as well is as much as the reward of having some money.”

Books can also just be donated. The ones that have value can be sold with a percentage of the proceeds given to an organization of your choice.

Over the last few years, Stone Soup Books has been able to donate $2,500 to its non-profit partners.

Other donated books may also be re-circulated to community libraries, homeless shelters and prisons.

“We put them in the high schools, we give them to artists or the art center to remake into something when they have no market value,” Froehlich said.

There are also books that end up in the curated carts right outside the shop that cost just $1.

“Those are out there all the time. They say those who are hikers or those that are traveling light because we have a lot of people in our community that are just on foot, and they can pick them up at any time. It is not a requirement to leave anything,” Froehlich added.

She said giving people that access to books is what Stone Soup Books is all about.

The shop is named after an old folk tale about everyone in the community giving something back to a pot, which results in an enriched soup. Froehlich works to achieve that same story through books.

Books can be dropped off in the rescue bin outside of the book shop at any time or you can make an appointment to have your books picked up.

“A family had called me because their father passed, and he had tons, and tons of books, tons of books. I helped with culling those, getting them out of their house and also recognizing some of those books had really good use,” Froehlich.

Not every book can be rescued, though. Stone Soup Books cannot handle books that are moldy, smell bad, or any sets that are very outdated. However, they can help you recycle those books.

If you’re in need of certain books for yourself or for your organization, you can call Mary Katharine at Stone Soup Books. She can curate a box just for you.

Froehlich also said she is always in need of volunteers who can help lifting and lugging books as well as anyone interested in culling and curating books.