More space in used bookstore’s next chapter
Torn Pages in Stayner has made a small but significant move to a new location across the street.
Proprietor Troy Disabato has taken over a space quadruple the size to set up his used book store on the main street.
Anyone who has browsed the original location will understand the significance of the move. It was amazing how many books were wedged into the very small but well organized space.
Disabato said he had 10,000 books in that store so the added space is very welcome. Using his existing stock and what he had in storage, the new location is fully stocked in a roomier display and organized into 20 different categories including a children’s section, classics, thrillers, science fiction and fantasy, young adult, romance, hot beach reads, and many more.
The really amazing thing was that Disabato, using his visual memory, could often say if he had something in stock and exactly where it was located if he looked up an image of the cover.
Helper Ruth Stanwick said Disabato is a gifted bookseller with a knack for remembering customers and their interests. Because he remembers people and what they have already read, he is able to make great recommendations.
Disabato first opened Torn Pages in 2015, when he was 25 years old. He said it was a bumpy start so he was resilient enough to fare the pandemic pretty well, and took advantage of the lockdown as a perfect time to relocate.
It was during a high school co-op placement through Stayner Collegiate Institute that he developed an interest in peddling books. He did his placement at The Next Chapter with Frances Pruim, where he said he learned about business, took on extra responsibilities and the experience brought him out of his shell.
“I loved every minute of it,” said Disabato.
That book store has relocated to Alliston but Disabato said Pruim is still his mentor.
After high school, he went on to train as a personal support worker and it was while he was in between jobs that he decided to open a store of his own.
Disabato said he has been an avid reader from a very young age, reading Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie, but he notes having the store has really expanded his range. He said now he reads all kinds of books and things that customers have recommended.
He said he has found that people are reading more than ever as entertainment during the pandemic and that he has had people knocking on the door during the lockdown looking for their next literary fix, especially the youth, who are looking for paper books after spending too much time on their screens thanks to online learning.
“It has always been in the back of my mind that eventually I would need to expand and grow,” said Disabato.
He said with the added space he hopes to host events such as author signings and readings.
Disabato said he sources books in a number of ways, and often takes donations from customers, sometimes in exchange for store credit. He welcomes inquiries via Facebook and Instagram.
Torn Pages is located at 7314 Highway 26 and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit tornpages.ca, or call 705-988-3239.