Water pipes froze and broke in a vacant unit above Page Turner Books in downtown Kent causing flooding damage to the store.
Temperatures on Sunday, Jan. 14 were below freezing with a high in the 20s. The pipes burst in two places and water cascaded down the walls from the ceiling and light fixtures, according to a GoFundMe.com post by Wayne Curran, owner of the independent new and used bookstore at 314 W. Meeker St.
Curran and Josh Mortensen organized the GoFundme page to help cover the damages. The bookstore rents space in the building below an unoccupied unit.
Page Turner Books Book Club members and other volunteers rallied to clean up the store and help reduce the loss.
“But the amount of loss is considerable – credit card machines, the cash register, phone and router, all of the most valuable books kept behind the front counter, portions of book sections like YA (Young Adult) and Esoteric, as well as items like puzzles, figures, etc.,” according to the GoFundMe post. “They will also be pursuing legal action, and that will bring its share of fees as well. With the damages being this exponential, for a small business like Page Turner Books, they will need help from the community if they are to weather this storm.”
The store carries thousands of used paperbacks both in and out of print, and a few select new titles, mostly by popular demand, according to its website. It also carries role-playing game guides, sci-fi and fantasy novels, sci-fi memorabilia (collectibles, figures), esoteric books and more.
Page Turner Books initially opened in 2007 in Des Moines and closed in 2014 before reopening in 2017 in Kent.
The store participates in wine walks and the annual Street of Treats at Halloween, hosts a monthly book club, and plans and hosts community events such as Meeker Street Nerd Party and Fall Festi-con.
“Donations of any amount are appreciated,” according to GoFundMe. “Proceeds will go directly to Page Turner Books. Whether donating monetarily, simply sharing this campaign, or making a purchase online (as the online inventory was thankfully spared) at hasberts.com, Page Turner Books is incredibly grateful, and hopes to be able to serve you all again soon.”
Organizers set a goal to raise $10,000. As of Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 16, $3,125 had been raised from 43 donations.