When she was a mechanical engineering student at Georgia Tech, Beth Conway had a special weekend routine that inspired her to open her own used bookstore.
When most college students would attend parties on Friday nights,Conway and her friends would enjoy dinner at a Mexican restaurant and then visit a used bookstore next door.
“We used to spend Friday nights going out to eat and going to the bookstore,” she recalled.
It’s only fitting that ReReads is located next door to El Paso Mexican Restaurant in Mount Vernon. Conway opened ReReads on Feb. 7 and says business has been steady since opening.
Conway resides in Fort Hunt with her husband and three teenagers. She worked as an engineer at Fort Belvoir until her youngest was born. She held a couple of part-time jobs while her children grew up, and decided to embark on her dream of opening a used bookstore when her kids grew up. She credits her family and friends with being her biggest support system as she embarked on her first business venture.
Conway recalled, “My husband suggested to me last year, “Why wait?”
Conway spent six months trying to select the perfect location for her store, which led her to Cooper Road. However, the process of getting her building permits issued by the county stalled the shop’s opening.
“Because it took so long to acquire, I stopped collecting books,” Conway said. “I didn’t want to have a store full of books if it couldn’t open.”
Conway now seeks to fill ReReads’ shelves with a diverse selection of fiction and non-fiction books for children and adults. Customers can bring their used books to the store and receive store credit, which functions as a discount on a future purchase.
ReReads fills a need for a bookstore in the southern part of Richmond Highway, but Conway aspires for her business to be more than just a used bookstore.
“I’d like it to be a place for people to relax and have fun,” she said.
The shop has a room where customers can sit down, relax, read, and converse. The children’s book section has a plush lilac rug where kids can sit and read.
Editor's note: A prior version of this article had incorrectly identified Beth Conway. We apologize for the error.