SOUTH KINGSTOWN, RI – This is a bookstore that offers exactly what its name “Rarities” implies – hard to find, old, out of print, and sometimes rare books that even modern Amazon would never stock.
âWe have vintage, old, and ‘sweetly loved’ books. The only news we have is from local writers, âsaid owner Kelly Allen-Kujawski.
This weekend will mark the store’s grand opening – the opened in June – and feature at least 18 of these local authors who will meet visitors to say hello and sign books.
They will be in and out of the small store at 396 Main Street, Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to mid-afternoon.
Allen-Kujawski said she has hundreds of old books that she got from Allison B. Goodsell, Rare Books at the Kingston Hill Store. Goodsell closed her store, but Allen-Kujawski learned the trade from her before the doors closed.
Knowing the craft meant having a place to practice it.
âI wanted to be in an area where there is local traffic and foot traffic. It worked wonderfully, âshe said of moving this type of store from the Kingston countryside to the more bustling downtown Wakefield. The store will also offer binding services.
A bookbinder by trade, she said: âI’ve always wanted to incorporate old books from an antique vintage into a store as well.
Theresa Schimmel is a South Kingstown author who also enjoys old books. She will be signing copies of her own works over the weekend.
âI am delighted to be one of the local authors for the launch of Rarities! It is a unique bookstore with real gems to browse and buy. I love that Kelly features local writers, âshe said.
âWriting is a lonely activity, which takes time and commitment, but for me it’s a labor of love and I can’t wait to share my books with the patrons of Rarities,â said Schimmel .
Her books include “Sunny,” which is the story of Mandy, a foster child. A nice neighbor, Mr Johnson, gives him a new puppy. But Mandy, still grappling with the emotional loss of her own family, tries to bring the puppy back to her mother.
Mr. Johnson helps her realize that the puppy needs her just like Mandy needs Mama Rose, her foster mother. Approved by the National Association of Foster Parents.
“David’s War, David’s Peace” is two books in one on conflict and peacemaking.
The book is designed for elementary and secondary school children to read on their own or with their teacher or parents. Its aim is to help children see the consequences of war and the possibilities of resolving conflicts through nonviolent strategies.
âThe Carousel Adventureâ is a fantastic adventure book featuring the Watch Hill Carousel in Rhode Island.
Thora and Otto visit the carousel and retrieve the brass ring, only to discover that it possesses magical powers that take them on exciting adventures in the historic panel paintings of the carousel. It is a book of chapters for 8-12 year olds.
Another local author who will stop by will be mystery writer Claremary Sweeney from South Kingstown. She and Schimmel will visit the store on Saturday, September 4, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Sweeney, a former school administrator, wrote five episodes in a self-designed “South County Mystery Series”.
âLast Train to Kingstonâ centers around Kingston and West Kingston, âLast Rose on the Vineâ has ties to the University of Rhode Island, and âLast Carol of the Seasonâ is based in Wakefield.
“Last Sermon for a Sinner” is inspired by Peace Dale and “Last Castle in the Sand”, involves Matunuck, Narragansett and North Kingstown.
Her next book, âLast Walk in the Park,â which takes place in Westerly, will be available in November, she said.
âEach modern mystery features a local village or town and the main characters, Detective Kara Langley and her friends, are developed throughout the series. I include photos of the sets and historical backgrounds at the end of each book, âSweeney said.
She added, âI look forward to walking around town and visiting Rarities regularly. It will be another welcome local business right in the center of the village.
It captures, Allen-Kujawski said, the essence of his dream.
âI have a deep love for books. I grew up as an avid reader. There is nothing like holding a book. It is very different from reading it on an electronic device. Every city needs a bookstore on its main street, âshe said.