Behind the Business: The Bookworm

With an estimated inventory of over 15,000 copies, from children to adult and all the genres in between - there’s something for everyone at The Bookworm.
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 11:49 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — For many, a book is much more than a stack of paper waiting to be read.

Books can transport you from the surface of mars - to the bottom of the ocean at the turn of a page.

And for over 50 years – one used-paperback bookstore in Twin Falls has been providing generations of readers with these journeys and adventures.

It’s called the Paperback Bookworm.

“This is a trade store, which means people bring their read books in and trade for other things,” said Bookworm Manager Sue Irish.

Sue Irish has been working at the Bookworm for many years, she says they know that the cost of reading can sometimes get out-of-hand.

Meaning, if you’re an avid reader – you might like the way they do things.

It’s all based on a credit system, meaning the more books you read - the more value of your trade in.

“Some people will buy an entire series which could be three or five… or 25. They take them home, they’ve paid cash, but they bring them back and now you’ve got 25 books and unless you go out of that price range you’ve probably got another 12 books,” said Irish.

For longtime customer Joyce Pulsifer, the Bookworm is essential for her daily life.

“You can go to the library… but not all of us. We live out in the country, we don’t have a library card,” said Pulsifer. “I’ve been reading since I was a little girl, so for me this place is really essential. Otherwise, we would be broke and not able to eat because we would spend so much on books.”

Now, don’t worry… thanks to the Bookworms prices, Joyce will not go broke.

If you choose to simply buy the book outright - and not use the credit system, all books start out at half of the publisher’s original price.

“I can’t afford to buy 20 books… but I can come in here and buy 20 books - and I can bring them back! Barnes and Noble doesn’t really want you to bring back a used books,” said Pulsifer.

With an estimated inventory of over 15,000 copies, from children to adult and all the genres in between, there’s something for everyone at the Bookworm.

The Bookworm is located at 1914 Addison Avenue East, in Twin Falls.