New bookstore in Weed, A Little Light, opens on Halloween
A Little Light Bookstore owners Alaina DaRin and Matt Buonocore had no idea they would fall in love with the quaint town of Weed as quickly as they did when they moved here from Syracuse, New York. "I already felt like I was in a novel," said DaRin. "I'd moved across the country to a small town, we didn't know anyone, and everything was just so fresh and new."
A Little Light will open on Saturday in Weed's Mercantile Mall. The store boasts thousands of titles of all genres at affordable prices.
After being drawn to the mountain and small town life, DaRin and Buonocore, who are spiritual life coaches, decided to leave their home in Syracuse, sell their cars, rent an apartment and make the move across the country with only what they could fit on the plane in their possession.
DaRin said after beginning to explore Weed, they found the Mercantile, which drew them in with its antiques in the window and historic feel. It was then they met the merc's owner, Joyce Oliver. "We didn't even have plans of opening a bookstore ... We had no idea that this is what we were going to do," said DaRin. After Oliver told them she had some books, DaRin said that Buonocore felt inspired to clean out a room and turn it into a bookstore.
DaRin said Oliver was instrumental in helping them sort the books and prepare for opening.
"We wouldn't have been doing this without her. She gave us everything we needed, all the books, shelves, and decorations," said DaRin.
"It was just one of those things we didn't talk about. We just were all on the same wavelength," said DaRin. "She (Oliver) has thousands of books that have been donated to her through the years," said DaRin. Books start at $1. Some are priced at 25 cents, and there are also deals available on specially marked titles. DaRin saidd patrons who spend $10 will be able to pick out a free cookbook, craft book, or any other informational book in a specifically marked area.
The grand opening, set for Halloween afternoon, will offer more than books to the community, hopes DaRin, who loves the spookiness of the holiday. "I thought it would be a good idea to host a grand opening on Halloween because people are just dying to do something."
The store will offer Halloween crafts and activities for kids, trick-or-treating, refreshments, live music and karaoke during the celebration.
DaRin and Buonocore hope to eventually offer celebrations at the store on other holidays, and they're planning future activities with Oliver that can involve the community. Both DaRin and Buonocore have self published books through Amazon, and hope to eventually offer a self-publishing class. They're also planning a poetry writing class in November. Buonocore's books of poetry are available at the shop for purchase.
"Matt and I both love to read ... There's something really special about books because they're so old, we've had them for so long, and something about a book store and books in general reminds people that they are free to live their own life," said DaRin. "We named it A Little Light because we wanted to remind people that even in their darkest times, no matter what you are going through ... it's just about turning on that little light within, even if it's the smallest amount of hope to keep people going. It's something that we felt was true to us."
A Little Light Bookstore will be open Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m to 5 p.m., with live music and karaoke being available for patrons at Noon.
The store is located inside Weed's Historic Mercantile Mall, 590 Main Street in Weed, behind the area where there are multiple musical instruments hanging on the wall.
"If they see the music area where people play, they can go straight back and find the store," said DaRin.