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Community Highlights: Meet Holly Ruble of Adventure Awaits Used Books

Today we’d like to introduce you to Holly Ruble.

Hi Holly, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My love for books started at a very young age, thanks to a wonderful mom who voraciously read and taught my siblings and me to do the same. Our big family (six kids, including me!) always had stacks of books and made frequent trips to the library to keep our “To Read” piles full. I realized there was something special about my own copy of a book (whether brand new or just new-to-me) and the connection built through the words on the pages. Not every book is granted a special place on my personal bookshelves, but the ones that are there, have earned it.

I’m a chronic re-reader and no matter how many books are still on my “To Read” shelf, I often choose to dip back into the pages of my favorites. Sometimes it’s a favorite author, in which case I’ll read any book they ever put in print, or it may be that one storyline or one character spoke to me at a particular point in my life. Some books feel as familiar to me as old friends. I got very sick when I was about eight years old, and my life got pretty isolated for a long time. Through those years, my love of books blossomed into the unstoppable addiction it is today. Books became my gateway to a world I wasn’t well enough to experience first-hand.

That time of my life taught me to appreciate each unique experience I have now, and sometimes makes me do some pretty strange things – like buy 10,000 books! I have been buying and selling books as a hobby to fund my book addiction for almost twenty years now. I learned how to sell online through the Craigslist phase, the eBay boom, and the Amazon spike and evolved my process as the years went by. During quarantine, amid the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to pursue doing books full time. Stepping away from my private office doing sales in the environmental industry ended up being the best choice I’ve ever made! I am now able to spend every day surrounded by books and connecting with lovers of literature. After quarantine lifted, I realized how much I appreciated running the business from my home and the freedom that gave me. I decided to keep it as an online shopping experience but encourage local pickups so I can still visit with all the wonderful readers! Fresh inventory is added each week and I have also added hundreds of customized ribbon bookmarks to choose from! I am a lover of all things books and hope to continue expanding into the exciting realm of items that make our literary hearts beat faster!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has definitely presented interesting challenges along the way! I went from being sales support for a team of six to working privately from home at a time when the entire world was shut down and very little small business support was available. Quarantine essentially made the choice for me in terms of the career switch, and I didn’t have an infrastructure set in place or a long-term plan, so the drastic life change was strictly out of necessity. I had 6,000 books in my garage waiting to be sorted from my last big book haul and rent was due in two weeks. The learning process throughout the last two years has been similar to a snowball rolling downhill. It continues to grow as it rolls forward, but sometimes chunks fall off or it veers off path for a while before straightening out. The ability to live, breathe, and pursue my passions full time is an unimaginable gift that I treasure every day. However, the reality is often frazzled weeks of very little sleep trying to source, stock, process, pack, and ship orders for a growing business while also learning business strategy, tax laws, e-commerce structure, marketing skills and keeping an eye on what books are trending and in high demand.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Adventure Awaits Used Books?
I have over twelve thousand books currently in my inventory and more than four hundred custom ribbon bookmark designs available. The inventory is primarily focused on fiction works spanning all genres, though my nonfiction selection is gradually growing as well. Storytelling brings people together in such a unique way and I do my best to carefully curate titles that are sought after and impactful for any audience. More than four hundred titles are added to the inventory weekly and if you send in your Wishlist of titles or authors, I do my best to help you hunt them down. The majority of my pricing stays at $10 and under so that everyone can afford their next adventure!

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs, or other resources you think our readers should check out?
Instagram has become one of my favorite places to connect with other readers and get feedback as the business grows! instagram.com/adventureawaitsusedbooks

Pricing:

  • The majority of the book inventory is $10 and under
  • The majority of the ribbon bookmarks are $12 and under
  • Custom ribbon bookmarks can be requested and pricing adjusted as needed

Contact Info:

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