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88-year-old Shelley Spielman will retire from weekly work at nonprofit book store

PMG PHOTO: AVA EUCKER - Shelley Spielman is an avid reader and has been a dedicated volunteer with Booktique since 1994. Shelley Spielman has sorted, shelved and sold countless books during his 25 years of volunteering with Booktique, a nonprofit used bookstore that benefits the Lake Oswego Public Library.

Spielman has volunteered weekly with Booktique since 1994, three years after it was founded. Dedicating every wednesday from 10-1p.m., Spielman has rarely missed a shift. Now, at the age of 88, Spielman plans to retire to relieve the stress of his wife driving him to and from the store.

Spielman was formerly a OBGYN doctor. He went to medical school at New York University and did his residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine before moving to Oregon in 1966 to work with Keiser. Spielman said once he visited Mount Hood and looked out from Timberline Lodge he fell in love with Oregon. Years later, upon retiring, Spielman's love of books and want to donate his old CDs and vinyl LPs led him to Booktique.

"Volunteering in this bookstore as a book lover is like a kid in a candy store," said Terry Huber, president of the Friends of the Library.

Spielman said he has always loved to read and that he is especially drawn to books about the Holocaust as some of his family members were killed during that time. Due to the donation basis of the store, the goal is for everything to be inexpensive.

"For $10 you can get enough books here to last you a couple months," Spielman said. "I buy about two books a week and read about one a month, so the books eventually come back here."

Working with a diverse group of people is one of Spielman's favorite parts about his time at the store. Bankers, doctors, past librarians and math experts make up some of diverse group at Booktique, yet all are bound by one commonality — a fondness of reading.

"We are really interested in people reading, and we get tons of books and practically give them away so I think it is helpful in keeping the community literate," Spielman said.

Spielman said he remembers the enthusiasm of Booktique's co-founders Jack Radow and Herb Bumgarner who assured the store's success by incentivizing everyone to constantly work toward betterment. Spielman has seen Booktique blossom from an assortment of books sold in churches and schools sporadically throughout the year to now settling into its new location off of Monroe Parkway and donating about $50,000 to the library every year. As the store has grown, it has also modernized in the last decade with a credit card reader and internet presence, things that now delight Spielman.

Spielman is also a member of the Friends of the Library and supports readership in the community.

"We have come to the conclusion that the people of Lake Oswego are readers due to the amount and quality of books that come in," Huber said. "People here love to read so this is a great outlet to donate and to do something good for the library."

Spielman will retire Aug. 21 at the age of 88. His dedication to Booktique and the community at large will continue to be appreciated long after his time in the store.


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