About Keren

I was born in Missoula, Montana, and moved with my family at a young age in order for my dad to go to Bible college. Our family settled in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 30 miles north of Philadelphia. Dad had bought so many used books while in seminary, both for himself and us kids, that we couldn't park our Volkswagen Microbus in our garage! We bought a 26 room Victorian hotel, settled in with 9 kids, and opened a used book store. My life has always been filled with books, having parents and their friends read to me from a young age. As a child, I could always be found playing at the creek and in the woods near our house, or sitting in my large window sill, reading. 

From age 8, I learned to sort and shelve books in the Gwynedd Valley store, running the cash register and caring for customers. Eventually I learned pricing and the more advanced skills of running a shop as we opened the Alberton store in February 1978.  Books come to the store from people moving, cleaning house or just passing through. Many volumes continue to supply this store from the Pennsylvania store, which closed in 2000. Every day is rich with the gift of books. Opening boxes is like opening a treasured Christmas gift, not knowing exactly what is inside but loving the treasure of books.

My aim is to get as many books as possible into the hands of the people who will love them the most. Running a used book store with old books that are sometimes hard to find is a public service, like a museum or a library. There’s value in just having those books there for the public to look at, even if they don’t take them home.
— Keren Wales, Owner