ODESSA, Texas (FOX 24) – The internet forced many bookstores to close their doors. But there is one here in the Basin that’s been in downtown Odessa for almost three decades. We have the secret to its success.
Making money selling books isn’t always an open book. Dorthy Bennett is the owner of Ye Old Bookworm.
“Currently, we have no rent. Rent like I said, even 30 years ago was very expensive,” said Bennett.
Ye Old Bookworm first opened its doors in 1991. Eight years later, Bennett and her husband had paid off the bookstore.
“We own the building. I think that is the biggest staying power for us,” said Bennett.
They’ve also adapted to the times.
“We were probably one of the first people that started selling on the internet 28 years ago,” said Bennett. “Before Amazon even, it was not in existence when we started.”
We also talked with 10-year-old Andy who’s an Odessa resident and customer.
“I really like it. It’s a chance for me to catch up on reading and get smarter,” said Andy.
He actually prefers physical books.
“On the computer, you have to open tabs, apps, and different things to read,” said Andy.
“I don’t think they’ll ever go completely away because too many people like the feel and the touch, the smell of a book,” said Bennett.
Another perk is Timothy the cat.
“He’s lived right here in the shop for eight years,” said Bennett. “Timothy will walk around with the people in the store and show them the books.”
Of course, we had to ask this book expert about her favorite all-time book.
“I guess the Harry Potter series,” said Bennett. “When they first came out, I had several people come in here and say they should outlaw those books, they should ban those books. So, I read them just to see what was going on.”
The bookstore does greatly utilize the internet. Right now, it has around 20,000 books listed there for sale.