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Muskegon's free bookstore turns 5 in February

Embrace Books provides around 50,000 free books annually to individuals and community partners in the Muskegon area.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — February is expected to be a month of celebration for Embrace Books, and the loyal volunteers working to get a stack of good books into the hands of every Muskegon County resident. 

The nonprofit, started by Taleah Greve in 2015, plans to celebrate its' fifth anniversary Feb. 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Greve says the free bookstore would have never opened if not for one simple question.

"My husband asked me what I would do if I didn't have to get paid, and I said I'd give books away," said Greve. "He said 'go do it.'"

Greve says the support of the Muskegon area community is what empowers Embrace Books to give away around 50,000 books annually.

Many of the books are donated by individuals and businesses. Some are used for a time by Embrace Book visitors then returned to the shelves for others to read.

Credit: Embrace Books / Facebook

“We also see many teachers and reading tutors shopping for their classrooms and students," Greve explained. "Many local organizations, from senior centers to local businesses, are also finding creative ways to take and share free books."

Embrace Books is open twice a month, staffed by volunteers. Regular hours are the 2nd and 4th Saturday every month from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.. Donations are accepted during the hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Greve says all books are free with, "no strings attached."

According to Unite for Literacy, only about 30-40% of Michigan homes have more than 100 books. The county-by-county breakdown shows that in Muskegon County only 20-30% of homes have 100 or more books.

Greve encourages parents to stop in for books to read to their children, something she hopes all parents are doing everyday. 

"It doesn't have to be Dickens, it doesn't have to be some great classic, it can be a picture book," said Greve. 

Embrace Books is located in the basement of All Shores Wesleyan at the corner of Southern Avenue and Franklin Avenue in the Nims Neighborhood.

Learn more about Embrace Books at embracebooks.org.


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