By GLENN KAHL
The Manteca Book Exchange has turned over thousands of books and CDs for readers in the community for the past 24 years – each having been read cover to cover more than once.
Manager Elaine Ivey was first a customer herself, bringing in her paperback books and trading them for other discounted sets that she couldn’t wait to open. Ivey has been with Cheryl Lovering’s book store for eight and a half years and has somehow memorized where just about every book is located in the small store at 332 North Main Street.
She said she developed her love of reading from an elementary school teacher – a Mrs. Barry in second grade – who she remembers reading her favorite book of her younger years, “How to Eat Fried Worms.”
Lovering said that her store donates books to different charities and non-profits as well as to an animal rescue in the Auburn foothills near her home.
The books that are on CDs include authors like James Patterson, Nelson DeMille and Michael Connely. The CDs and the books can be purchased using credit from the store in exchange for books that were already returned to the store by customers.
Books already discounted to $4 can be cut in half again with a customer’s standing credit reserve from previously turned in editions from card file record for a particular customer. Lovering said they can locate customer-favorite authors with similar writing styles with a “finder” they have on their computer.
Her mother was a huge reader as was her sister Janis Smith.
Lovering and her sister Janis needed extra money some two decades ago so they started the used book store in Manteca opening the doors May 15, 1993.
“Our Mom would read, read all the time and we would go to the library time and again with her while we were growing up. We had to hide our books because Dad didn’t like her to spend money on any more books.”
Lovering said that both she and her sister had worked as physical education teachers after graduation, adding that she had had soon opted to stay home to take care of her children. Years later tired of the commute into the foothills she began staying home and works from her office in managing her store. She drives into Manteca one day a week and depends on her staff to take care of things on the other days.
Lovering and her husband Bob have two daughters, Jessica, 33, and Janas, 37, both married. She prides herself in the thrill of having two granddaughters. Jessica is an astrophysicist and a grad of U.C. Berkeley. She is now on track at Carnegie Mellon to obtain her doctorate degree.
Janas is currently in energy development and is currently the Energy Development Director at Breakthrough, Inc. in Oakland. Lovering said her husband Bob retired from an officer’s position with the U.S. Air Force and then worked in administration at Cal for 20 years.
The store is open seven days a week from 10 to 6 with the exception of Sundays when it is opened at 12:30, “after church.”