Downtown Niles bookstore to close, relocate

Published 2:50 pm Friday, May 19, 2023

NILES — A local bookstore will be temporarily closing its doors as it searches for a new location.

Shelf Life Community Book Store’s last day at its 223 N. 4th St. location will be Thursday, May 25. Souldier, which purchased the Star Building last fall, will be moving its retail outlet into the space the bookstore has occupied since its founding in 2017. 

Shelf Life Book Store is operated by the Niles DDA Main Street and is a volunteer-run nonprofit.

The books that fill the shelves are donated by the community, library or other organizations. Proceeds from the store, after expenses, support the Niles DDA Main Street initiatives. 

“The money that we make here goes back into the community and helps with things like the Hunter Ice Festival, concerts in the park and other community events,” said Shelf Life manager Melody Conrad.

The business offers a wide range and rotating selection of books. There is a designated room for children’s books, nonfiction and fiction books. Customers can also find romance novels, education, reference and law books.

According to Conrad, Shelf Life’s $5 bag sale will run through the 25th and the remaining books will go into storage until a new downtown space is acquired. Souldier will keep Shelf Life’s Arts and Culture, Cooking, DIY and other books to sell for the store.

While the book store will return in a location to be determined, Conrad will miss the space the store called home for six years.

“I really hated to see it close,” she said. “I think having a place like this is really important to the community. We have a lot of regular customers and I just love our people; I think we’re important to the community and I think there are a lot of people that are gonna miss us. I’m gonna miss being here.”