Second-Hand Books Getting New Looks in North Tonawanda

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By: Brendan McDonough

Reporter for North Tonawanda

This past week residents and public officials took part in a ribbon cutting at the Old Editions Bookstore on Oliver Street where thousands of used books are for sale.

All of the books are personally collected by the owners, Ronald Cozzi and his wife. As it turns out, they have a passion for history.

“People collect books and there is a demand out there,” said Ronald Cozzi. “We have all kinds of books including a 500-year-old bible.”

Ron, who is a former chess player turned bookstore owner, also owned a bookstore in Buffalo but because of his age, he and his wife started looking for a new bookstore location that would not have stairs.

After some searching they found 954 Oliver Street, which is the former location of Platter’s Chocolates.

Old Editions Bookstore sells books in the store and online.

“We have been on the web since 1995,” said Cozzi, “so we have got thousands of books and the way this building is set up we will be putting more books online.”

According to Ron and his wife, the best is yet to come!

 

 

Over the next four months they will be bringing thousands of books from the old location in Buffalo to the new North Tonawanda location.

For City officials the new bookstore is a welcome addition that they hope will not only get more people interested in reading, but will help create growth on an often forgotten part of Oliver Street in need of economic revitalization.

“This end of Oliver Street has not had a lot of development between Matt’s Music and this,” said Mayor Art Pappas.  “I kind of look at it like a sandwich. Like the south side and the north side and then all those that might take an interest in the middle, they become the meat of that sandwich. I think that is what we are seeing here and I am optimistic that things are going to work out. It is going to take a little bit of time but good things sometimes require a wait.”

Matt’s Music has been amongst the most patient waiting for development to hit that end of Oliver Street. Before expanding their business, they say they intentionally waiting and would not do any development until they knew what was coming to this location.

“So many of our parents have a half hour between lessons to wait for their kids and they are always looking for something to do,” said Kathy Carr of Matt’s Music. “We know this will give them a wonderful thing to do while waiting for their kids. We are hoping that both of the business will enhance each other. Our decision to add on to our store, we did not make that final decision until we were sure what was going in over here and that really solidified our decision to add on and stay here on Oliver Street.”

The Cozzi family hopes to improve the areas and get people interested in reading one book at a time.

“Collecting books is a wonderful hobby and we want encourage young people to read and to collect books,” said Cozzi. “We have a huge children’s book section and this is what we are primarily interested in is getting young children to come in here and read.”

The bookstore does not plan to add a café at this time and say they hope to have all the books from the Buffalo location moved to North Tonawanda by March of next year.

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