Paperback Exchange remains open, despite what some former regulars think

WICHITA — When former Paperback Exchange owner Kenya Young decided she’d either sell or close her bookstore this summer, she told customers she’d have a big sale and try to sell everything if it were going to close.

She started that sale in July, but many regulars of the store at 455 N. West St. didn’t realize it didn’t end up closing. Renda Robertson, a middle school teacher, bought it.

“We still have some of her regular customers … who are just now hearing the store didn’t close,” Robertson says. “We need to get the word out.”

Initially, Robertson says she didn’t seek publicity because she wanted to make a few changes first, such as adding the ability to take credit cards instead of cash and checks only. She now takes cards and has expanded the store hours to Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and she’d like everyone to know.

Robertson learned the store might close by reading it in Have You Heard?

“The first thought that came to my mind was, ‘Oh, no, we can not have another bookstore close.’

“I just love bookstores. … Especially small bookstores (that) have their own characters.”

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Paperback Exchange to sell or close

WICHITA — After a quarter century in business, Paperback Exchange owner Kenya Young says it’s time to call it quits.

“Well, my husband retired, and I’m old,” she says, laughing.

The store, which buys and sells paperback books, is at 455 N. West St.

“If I can’t sell it, I’m just going to have a big … book sale at the end of July,” Young says.

The store has about 32,000 books, she says.

The advent of electronic readers has “hurt me a little bit,” Young says. “I’ll admit that.”

Her preference is to sell the business so it can remain a bookstore for those who still prefer hard copies over electronic ones.

“It really needs somebody that’s there six days a week,” Young says.

She travels quite a bit as a college volleyball referee. Young says she plans to travel even more once she closes shop.

“It’s just kind of time, I think.”