NORWAY — For the last 12 years, Erica Jed has owned and operated Books N Things, a small bookstore located on Main Street in Norway sandwiched between the Happi Chicks Bake Shop and the Norway Opera House. After taking off nearly a decade from working in the medical field to raise her third child, Jed said she ended up buying the bookstore from its previous owner after seeing a “For Sale” sign in the window.
Despite ups and downs along the way, Jed said the bookstore has stabilized and become her sole focus.
Name: Erica Jed
Job: Owner and operator of Books N Things
How did you come to own and operate Books N Things? Years ago, I was about to move to Portland because my kids weren’t around anymore. One day, I went to the Oxford Plaza and saw that the bookstore, Books N Things, had a sign up that said “For sale.” I thought to myself, “Well, I guess I’ll just give this a try.” I wasn’t crazy about the location that the bookstore was in, and the building next to the Norway Opera House happened to be for sale, so I decided to move it here. It ended up becoming a lot more than the money the original owner wanted for the business, but I gave it a try and it became all consuming. Now here we are, 12 years later.
What did you do before buying Books N Things? Before Books N Things, I got my doctorate in medicine and worked in the office of a private doctor in the area. When my third child was born, I ended up taking nine years off. I went back to work and did different things here and there. Then, I bought Books N Things, and here I am. I started off as an English major in college, so I’ve always had that background.
Do you have anything new you want to do with the bookstore? How has it grown over the years? When the bookstore was almost 30 years old, and was still in Oxford Plaza, it had some ups and downs. When I moved it, I changed some things. I added Stonewall Kitchen Products, Melissa & Doug toys, newspapers and greeting cards. I’m open seven days a week. When I first bought it, it grew and grew, and then the recession hit. There were some tough times, but it seems like things have come back and stabilized. I have brought some new things to the bookstore, but for the most part, things have stayed the same.
What do you do for fun outside of work? I’m always doing this. It’s all-consuming. I hang out with my dog, Zoey. She’s a puggle — half pug, half beagle. She’s 11 now, and she was a puppy when I first bought the store. She doesn’t like to come to work anymore. I like to knit. There’s a knitting group at the Fiber & Vine store on Main Street that I try to go to on Tuesdays. I read as much as I can, which isn’t enough, but for the most part, I spend my time running the bookstore.
(Matthew Daigle/Sun Journal)