Retailer of used books, instruments moves to new location in Bristol

BRISTOL — Recycled Reading of Vermont is moving to a larger space in Bristol’s downtown, and will expand its operation.
The store, which sells used books, CDs, DVDs and musical instruments, isn’t moving far — in fact, the new space is just across the street from its current location at 25 Main Street. The store will occupy the space that used to house Better Planet.
Owner Melissa Hernandez, who opened the store in 2011, said things were starting to feel crowded in her shop, so she went looking for a new home for her business.
“I wanted to get a larger space,” Hernandez said. “I’m just running out of room for the books, as well as for everything else.”
The new space for Recycled Reading is nearly twice as large as the current location, the square footage available to Hernandez will jump from 800 to 1,300. The new location also has storage space in the basement.
The new space has two things the current location lacks: high ceilings and two large display windows. Hernandez said she will also install a sign out front, which will greatly increase the visibility of Recycled Reading along Bristol’s main drag.
Hernandez plans to ramp up the music side of the business, and increase her inventory of guitars, dulcimers, mandolins, lap harps and ukuleles — which she said have been particularly popular with Bristol Elementary School students. Hernandez said she tries to buy instruments that are made in the United States.
Luthier Michael Manley will hold hours at the store once a week to repair stringed instruments.
Hernandez will also sell half- and three-quarter-size guitars, which are easier for children to play. Hernandez said children can trade in instruments for a larger size as they get older, saving their parents money.
“I want to make it available for people, especially children, who want to start playing,” Hernandez said. “As a parent, I understand you don’t want to spend too much.”
Recycled Reading also has guitar strings, which Hernandez said can save local rockers a trip up to Chittenden County.
“They can come locally to get their strings, and don’t have to drive 45 minutes to Williston or Burlington,” she said.
Hernandez, who moved to Vermont from Virginia in 2007, credited the Bristol Downtown Community Partnership and its former director, Carol Wells, for helping her start her business.
“Carol helped me a lot,” Hernandez said. “The BDCP is extremely helpful, especially if you’re not from the area.”
Hernandez added that her customers and community members have been supportive of the move.
“The community support has been amazing,” she said. “There’s been a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for my move, and some of the customers have volunteered (to help move things).”
Hernandez will hold a grand opening for the new location on Saturday, May 3. The event will feature music — Matteo Palmer and Patrick Fitzsimmons are just two of the artists on the bill.
“The music is a thank you to the community for the support,” Hernandez said.

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