HometownBell County


An underground book shop in Temple celebrates Small Business Saturday

Posted at 12:02 PM, Nov 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-28 13:02:27-05

TEMPLE, TX — Hundreds of people took to the stores today to find the best of the best deals.

While the retail frenzy carries on, it’s Small Business Saturday, and spending your cash locally this year may be more important than any other year.

Nestled directly underneath main street in Temple is a 50-year-old book shop that stores hundreds of thousands of treasures held together by a little bit of glue and a book spine.

On any given day, Anna Colburn can be caught sorting through old vinyls or searching for just the right book to add to her home library.

“A big fancy store got its places,” Colburn said. “But to help a real down to earth community, small places like this do help.”

Maybe it's the scent of flipping through old book pages or the thrill of finding a title from her childhood that keeps her coming back to the Book Cellar.

Whatever it may be, workers say it’s people like Anna who help keep the doors open.

“Your small businesses are what makes the community," Russ Siegel, a worker, said. “It’s more of a personal touch.”

Like many local businesses, the Book Cellar struggles to get people through its doors because of COVID, so it uses this time to give back.

The shop donated over 40,000 books to local senior homes and Central Texas jails over the past few months.

“Those that are locked up, can’t come out,” Siegel said. “So, it gives them something for them to do as well. ”

While the pandemic hit them hard, Siegel says the digital age hit them harder.

“It’s been a joke that if the internet went out for a week, we’d be millionaires,” he laughed.

Along with it’s book selection, The Cellar is known for its comics, sports memorabilia, historic artifacts and authentic autographs.

All sold for one heck of a price.

“Your smaller businesses like this, like the Book Cellar, a working class family could afford to come and find treasures,” Colburn said with a smile.

The personal connections made down here is what keeps people coming back. But it’s the ever changing product and uniqueness that some say always keeps them wanting more.