Don’t let the unassuming cover of this seemingly small bookstore fool you.
There’s a voluminous world of reading behind that front door at NU2U Books, tucked away in three units of a warehouse at 2624 Aurora Road in Melbourne.
This book lover’s dream is home to hundreds of thousands of used books on countless subjects – from manga to memoir, rock stars to geology, history to heaven.
“I always say it’s like a TARDIS from ‘Doctor Who’ – much bigger than it looks from the outside,” said Rochelle Hack, who owns and operates the store with her brother, Jeremy Hack. .
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And is it always bigger, row after row, shelf after shelf carefully arranged and rising.
Fiction and non-fiction. Paperbacks, hardbacks, audio books, antiques. Books for children, teenagers and adults. Every genre imaginable and an endless list of authors.
Who is given in this range? Think of James Patterson: “He’s in pretty much every genre now,” Rochelle said. For children, the fiction series “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, by Jeff Kinney, is a kind of gateway for children who do not like to read or who have difficulty reading. And the Nancy Drew series is still going strong – 92 years after the Hardy Boys’ female counterpart was introduced.
Whether you’re looking for old Hollywood history or Sherlock Holmes, cookbooks or romance novels, these two can get you right there. Or if it’s in the computer, and you can come up with a description of the book, or an idea for the cover, the two will Google until they can find where it is.
“We both have photographic memories,” Rochelle said. “It helps.”
Getting into the Book Industry
The Melbourne-raised duo took over the business in 2018 from their brother and sister-in-law, who bought it from the original owner in 2008. He was a family friend whose health was declining and who once sold books at a flea market. market, but the Hack family “didn’t want it to close,” Rochelle said.
It wasn’t a leap of faith for Rochelle and Jeremy to get started four years ago. The two, who were homeschooled, are avid readers and lifelong learners.
Jeremy, 22, has always had a passion for military history and aviation.
Rochelle, 29, dabbled in historical fiction as a child; one of its sisters, fantasy, and another sister, westerns.
“As kids, we would all choose one of our favorite books and read aloud to get a taste of everything,” she said.
The supply here – most of which ranges between $1 and $10 – never goes down. People can come in with stacks of books and receive store credit. The greatest amounts of offers come when people move or when someone dies.
There was some concern, especially in the early months of the pandemic when almost everyone was closed, about the store’s future.
Instead, the Hacks hosted people vacationing in Florida. People from other countries and states and just down the road.
Reading has become, or continued to be, a bright spot for customers as the pandemic has changed the pace of life, Jeremy said.
“For some, reading was just something to do,” he said. “But I think it gave people an escape, a glimpse into another world. Even if it’s only for a few chapters at a time.”
For some, a trip to NU2YU is a gift – Hacks love it when people walk in and announce they’re getting books as a birthday present.
On a recent trip, Sue Darby pored over a shelf of audiobooks, including selections from Mario Puzo and Bill O’Reilly.
“They do an amazing job here,” she said as she paid. “This place is a treasure and a lot of people don’t even know it’s here.”
It’s time-consuming, this job, and it’s not a cash cow.
“It’s a labor of love,” Rochelle said. “You don’t come into this to be a billionaire.”
But there are non-monetary rewards, like being surrounded by books all day.
Or seeing someone find what they didn’t realize they wanted.
Or the surprise on someone’s face when they arrive expecting a reading nook and instead find a reading bargain.
“A guy came in and had just landed at Melbourne Airport,” Rochelle said. “And he said, ‘The person next to me on the plane said, ‘You have to go to that bookstore in Melbourne.’ People will come from Rockledge or Cocoa, or say they heard about us at Vero Beach. And I’m just blown away.
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