Book store, school collaborate for funds

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— The problem with book fairs is, they often miss their mark, Steamboat Springs High School librarian Nicole DeCrette says.

Big company book fairs at the high school rarely have material available that meets the demands of the students, she said. But an entire store full of books, with the ability to order any book desired, could satiate the reading desires of every student in the school while bringing profits for the school at the same time.

Epilogue Book Co. has set up just such an arrangement with the high school and other local schools to allow community members to direct 20 percent of their purchase price to the school.

That means that when a person purchases a certificate from the store for $30, they can redeem that credit for $30 worth of books or gifts at the store. The store donates $6 of that purchase to the school, creating a citywide book fair.

"Typically, schools do big, corporate, Scholastic-type book fairs," DeCrette said. "But those aren't always age-appropriate (for the high school)."

Epilogue has hosted traditional book fairs in the past, but the new method of using gift certificates seems to be the most popular and effective, Epilogue owner Erica Fogue said.

"We used to go to the schools and set everything up," she said. "It was a lot of work, and it's not that effective because it's just one day."

By using gift certificates that don't expire, Fogue said, the popularity of the program has increased. A recent partnership with Lowell Whiteman Primary School netted the school $1,000 in donations from the shop.

The money from the high school's fair will be used to buy audio books and book sets, DeCrette said.

"This is like a bonus for us. It's not something I'm relying on to make a financial goal," she said.

It also supports a local business, creating a surge in sales for Fogue.

Fogue said vampire books are selling well amid the success of the "Twilight" series by Stephenie Meyer. Classics also are perennially popular, along with specialty books the store can order for no extra charge.

- To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208

or e-mail zfridell@steamboatpilot.com

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