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@Work: Treasure Attic Book Shop

Feb. 10, 2005 – If your taste in reading strays from the best seller list, sometimes it can be difficult to get the book you want on St. Croix.
Yolette Nicholsen, who returned three years ago to the island where she grew up, was having that problem. She said she was draining her bank account by ordering through Amazon.com.
She came up with a solution. Early last November, she opened her own book store, Treasure Attic Book Shop, on Company Street in Christiansted.
"I'm happy. I am my own boss. I'm surrounded by books. I get to read what I want," she said.
She has 40,000 books at the store. Most of the books are used, but some are new. She said they are all available at discount prices.
She got her start by buying the inventory of a bookstore in Westmont, Ill. She made an offer for the books on eBay. Her offer was not the highest bid, but the highest bidder later backed out of the deal and the owner called her.
Although most of the shelves in the store located above Divi Fabrics are pretty well filled, she said she still has not opened all her boxes – 200 boxes remain to be opened. Since she has not yet seen everything she owns she is not buying books from local readers.
"I don't want to buy a book and then find, when I open a box, that I already owned six copies of it," she said. Sometime in the future, she does hope to implement "some sort of exchange program."
She is the sole employee at the store, is not making a living off it and doesn't plan to "get rich." She retains the job she had before she bought the store, helping with the administrative chores at Divi Fabric. She hopes that within the next three to six months the book store begins to make a profit.
The selection of reading material at the store is, according to her, "a little bit of everything." She says she doesn't know if she will ever lean toward providing best sellers.
She is presently negotiating with a distributor and she says she is taking cues from her customers about what authors they like to read.
She has a comic book section to draw in youth who might not normally come to a book store. She also is looking to "beef up" her selection of local authors and local books.
A recent experience she enjoyed was when a group of students came to her store on a field trip from St. Mary's School.
The store is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. She will stay open later on Jump Up nights.
"My whole point is to offer a broad selection to readers," she said.

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