Pioneer Book provides used books to Provo

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For 43 years, Pioneer Book has provided Provo residents with used books — and collected theirs in return. 

Pioneer Book is a general interest used bookstore, selling books from a large variety of genres. The bookstore is located on Center Street and boasts more than 47,000 titles on-hand. 

“Almost all of our inventory comes from customers bringing us things that they don’t want anymore, and we offer in-store credit for books that people bring to us,” Scott Glenn, general manager of Pioneer Book, said.

According to employees, the store’s inventory is a reflection of the interests of people in Utah Valley. Pioneer Book has a long tradition in the community. Glenn used to visit the store as a BYU freshman in 1990. 

“It was a different vibe. It was smaller and crowded, and there were stacks of books everywhere,” Glenn said.

The bookstore has maintained its popularity through the passing of years, different locations and industry changes like e-books. Glenn explained there is a steady flow of book lovers visiting the store.  

“All of us that work here, I think, find it really rewarding to help connect people with new books to read. And we love having conversations with people about what they’re reading now and what they’ve read in the past. And people are always giving us suggestions about what to read,” Glenn said.

Bookseller Corinne McClelland first came to Pioneer Book as a customer when she was in high school. 

“That first time I, like, found one of my favorite books just on the stairs, and I was just like, ‘Ah, really?’ I loved it. And so when I came down here for college, I kept coming back,” McClelland said.

The store engages customers through rewards programs, customer-pick shelves, birthday discounts and hosting local events, including a couple weddings. Several hundred customers participate in the Pioneer Book reading challenge each year, where they can read books to earn a $50 gift card to Pioneer Book.  

“Just being next to books is very calming for me,” McClelland said. “I also like with used bookstores, um, you never know exactly what you’re going to find in here.”

There is still time to complete the Pioneer Book reading challenge before it ends in December.

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