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Title Page Flood Destroys Thousands of Books

The Bryn Mawr shop is recovering from the effects of a water main break.

—Bryn Mawr’s only remaining bookstore—is recovering from a water main break that left a foot of water in the shop and destroyed every book on the bottom shelves.

Beverly Potter, who owns the used bookstore, estimated between 15,000 and 20,000 books were ruined in the shop that usually has an inventory of 70,000 books; the exact total of the books is not yet known.

“Water is something books won’t forgive,” Potter said.

The books swelled up and turned black with mold, she added. Crews are working to box up all the books and transfer them to several large pods on Franklin Street so they can take the bookcases out and put down new flooring and new carpet.

Potter said she had never experienced anything similar. The Title Page is in its 14th year at that location after moving from its original Bryn Mawr location where it was for 17 ½ years before that.

The shop has continued to welcome customers to browse the remaining books since the water main broke in mid-July. Potter hopes to be fully up and running again sometime in October, if not earlier, Potter said.

“Every so often I stumble across something when someone asks for it and make a note I need to replace it,” she said. 

She was able to help some Episcopal Academy students out with copies of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities for their summer reading, but her wonderful collections of Thoreau and Trollope were among those on bottom shelves, she said.

“I even sold some books to the nice young men helping me box everything up,” Potter said.

Mildred Roberts August 10, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Sorry to hear about this catastrophe, Bev. The news released a flood of wonderful memories of THE OWL BOOKSTORE from many years ago.

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