PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Jeannie’s Used Books owner Jeannie Hunt is now running her business at a new location at Portsmouth Blvd. not far from her old store in Portsmouth, but she was unsure if she would ever find a new place in the very beginning.
“It would have been so easy for me to close the doors years ago,” Hunt said.
Hunt had to pack up her things and move out of her original business where she spent the last 22 years providing customers with great service. Her old store was located at High Street in a strip mall.
Landlord Kline Realty informed her that she had to vacate the store last September. She said the entire Portsmouth community, mostly her regular customers, came together to help her make the move.
“If it wasn’t for the community this would not be here right now,” Hunt said, “There’s no way I could have done it by myself.”
Luckily, Jeanne’s current landlord Bob Arnette came in her former store one day and asked her to come and check out one of his spaces he had available. The store originally was the Old Alliance Christian School building.
“I came and looked, immediately fell in love with everything,” Hunt said.
Arnette is the owner of Coastal Virginia Management and owns several properties at 5807 Portsmouth Blvd. The building is also directly next to Blessed Christian Homeschool, where Jeannie said the children that attend the school sometimes come next door to browse her store.
“I like the expression on their face when the pull out a book and see the print and see the pictures.” Hunt said.
Kenneth Patterson and his wife are regular customers of Hunt’s bookstore.
“We encountered this store when we first moved here in 2016, and we had been coming to her store ever since,” Patterson said, “and when it closed, we got worried we wouldn’t be able to come and get used books.”
However, Kenneth Patterson saw on Facebook her new location and stopped in to get a computer book he was looking for. He said the amount of books Jeannie has her in bookstore is extensive.
“She’s probably got two copies of the same book,” Patterson said. “You have a chance of actually – you lose your book, you probably better off finding that same book here again.”
Hunt said the future of bookstores will be up to the younger generation, and she’ll have a formal grand opening for her new location once her signs come in.
“The young adults coming in and finding their favorite book or their favorite series,” Hunt said. “That’s where the future of the bookstores are going.”