It’s never too late to start a new career – at least that’s the attitude of Dean and Dee McIntosh, owners of Reread Books.
The former public servants have a progressive vision for Stittsville’s only used bookstore store, which opened in November 2015.
“We believe in reusing and recycling,” says Dean. “It’s really important to us.”
Whether it’s the pre-owned books, the bookshelves and tables donated by friends, the couch bought on Kijiji, or the eco-friendly coffee machine, the McIntosh’s are making sure their store has a small carbon footprint.
“It all blends into our philosophy of recycling,” says Dean. “We like to recycle a lot of things. If you look through our store, you’ll see that we didn’t buy most of the stuff in here. Even the coffee we sell with the Keurig – the K-cups are 100% recyclable. We scrape the coffee out and compost it.”
Beyond these green initiatives, the McIntosh’s hope their community involvement will appeal to the residents of Stittsville. Their business has already partnered with Hope for Orphans – Congo, a registered Canadian charity helping children in the troubled African state.
“They’re really wonderful people and we’ve been dealing a lot with them,” explains Dean. “We sent a few French-language books, because many of the children speak French over there. We take things for granted in this country. If we want to read something, we can just pick up a book or go on the Internet. But those kids don’t have the opportunity. They just go crazy for books.”
The store is located across the street from the Stittsville Legion and just a few blocks from the Stittsville Manor and Villa retirement residences. The owners believe these establishments will provide them with steady customers.
One customer, Effie Wiaz, is exited about trading in her own book collection for store credit.
“I always like to find used bookstores,” says Wiaz.
As for the youth demographic, Dean understands he and his wife face a challenge with the rise of e-books.
“Younger people, they tend to want to use their Kobo, or their electronic media,” he says. “But there’s a difference when you actually pick up a book. Many people would prefer to read from a physical book. There’s a different feel to it.”
The day care located next door to Re-Read Books will also allow them to reach out to different markets.
“We have a children’s area in here, where children can play and read some books while the parents shop around. It encourages the children to read.”
All things considered, Dean McIntosh is enthusiastic about his new business. The ideals it represents will help make Stittsville, and the planet, a more sustainable place.
“Every time I sell a book, I save a tree.”