— By BRIAN SMITH
One look at Pete Rivera and you’ll understand why his business is called “Pop’s Used Books.”
Rivera, who has a kind, grandfatherly way about him despite a very firm handshake, says he has enjoyed every minute of having his store, which opened in April 2012. He bought the business from the previous owner and has been running it ever since with his wife, Michelle, and father-in-law Richard Adams, who Pete calls a “book buff.” In a pinch, Michelle can easily take over for her husband and father, as she runs Fancy’s Plus Size Resale Shop at the end of the strip mall where Pop’s is.
Despite a prime location at 318 Santa Fe Dr., people somehow miss his sign with the large owl and eyeballs out front and keep on driving.
“We have many people who have lived her for years stop in for the first time, say they’ve never seen us before and start to look around,” Pete Rivera said.
“A lot of people still got into Fort Worth to Half-Price Books,” Michelle Rivera said. “I’m not sure why. We’re cheaper on many books and you can save the gas by simply shopping local.”
Business, the Riveras contend, has been slow because people simply don’t know the store exists, despite advertising in a number of media outlets. Rivera said he has tried to revamp the store and attempted to spruce things up while weeding out the books that aren’t being read.
Books are never thrown out, however, with Rivera donating books to libraries and nursing homes. Pete Rivera said he also works with the prison system, sending overstock books all over the country for others to read.
Some of the most popular types of books at Pop’s include Christian books, westerns and cookbooks, all which have large displays within the store. Michelle Rivera says the area of textbooks is popular along with a “required reading” area for students needing some of the literary classics for class.
A big sale is going on right now with paperbacks going for $2 or $5 for three books with hardbacks going for $4 or $10 for three. The Riveras contend if business doesn’t pick up soon, they may be forced to close their doors, which is something neither wants to do.
“We have our loyal customers, that’s for sure, but we’re still running short each month,” Pete Rivera said.
“We, of course, don’t want to see the store close because Weatherford needs this type of store,” Michelle Rivera said. “Maybe there’s someone out there who wants it more.”
To encourage more business, the store has been staying open Mondays for the past few weeks, which has shown to help matters. Store hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. For information on Pop’s Used Books, call Pete at 598-1800.