Books galore at Cottage Bookstore | New

Nestled in the hills the Pearl community is a rare venture for a small town. It is known as Pearl Cottage Bookstore and is only open one day a month during the Pearl Bluegrass Festival.

The bookstore is housed in the first “teaching” building which was built next to Pearl School in 1934. Over the years, the teaching building has been used for several different purposes, including classrooms class when the school burned down in 1941. Following the closure of the Pearl School in 1956, the building was rented out and eventually became vacant.

In 2007, three local women brainstormed and came up with a plan to open a non-profit bookstore and thrift store designed in such a way that profits would go to local charities as well as community members who had them. need. Charities supported by the bookstore include the Cherokee Home for Children, the organization His Kids in Lampasas, and families battling cancer, fire victims, and gas money for local families undergoing treatment medical.

In the photo on the left, Linda Ray is accompanied by Corlisa Cunningham, two of the three founders of the Pearl Cottage bookstore. Kay Pruett is not in the photo.

Linda Ray, Kay Pruett and Corlisa Cunningham sprang into action when Waco’s Jackie Brewer donated thousands of used books to the bookstore which they first spread out on tables inside and outside of the building. Pruett was instrumental in installing bookcases in four rooms of the Teaching Building and thus the Pearl Cottage Bookshop was born. Each room is divided into different categories, including Novels, Spirituality, Westerns, Mystery, Children, True Crime, Foreign Language, Poetry, Plays, and Romance. They also offer audiobooks, CDs and DVDs. The massive number of books available now exceeds well over 6,000.

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Betsy Clark, Pearl News correspondent at the Gatesville Messenger, described the three founding members of the bookstore as being generous through and through and sees them as sisters/friends who are caring and compassionate people serving those in need in the community.

“If there’s a need, they’re there,” Clark said. She also said that the Pearl community is very lucky to have these ladies. “They love their God and serve him well, and they also love Pearl and serve her well. These ladies and their Lord are the reason Pearl Cottage Bookstore lives, breathes and has its being.

Individually, Clark described each of the ladies – “Linda Ray could sell a fur coat to a skunk and turn the trash into treasure and earn enough money to feed a third world country with the leftover money. Kay Pruett could organize , enlivening and re-energizing a Fortune 500 company with her creativity alone – knowing where the leaders were because Kay doesn’t mince words and that’s what people love about her Corlisa Cunningham could guide a buyer to the best deals , convincing the top salesperson that the price she wants to pay was her idea, and suddenly having an inspiring thought and making it happen almost from scratch.

Donations are always dropped off on the porch of the bookstore, whether it’s books, clothing, food, or household items. Items that cannot be used are in turn donated to other charities. “We don’t throw anything away. If we cannot use donated items, we find other charities and organizations that can. We recycle everything,” Ray said.

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Their motto at Cottage Bookstore has always been, “Take what you want and pay what you want,” Ray said. Their original dream of helping those in need continues to grow each month with their endless dedication to charities and their community.

For those wishing to visit the Cottage Bookstore, it is open the first Saturday of each month with the exception of September when it is the second Saturday following Labor Day.

Colin L. Johnson