On October 14, a couple of women from a neighboring business dashed into Cover to Cover Books and asked the owner, Mel Sanders, if they could borrow a fire extinguisher. In ten minutes, the building built in 1928 was belching smoke. Mel Sanders saved her cat, her computer and her cash register.

Out of approximately 30,000 books, 300 titles were completely lost along with a handful of bookshelves that were destroyed by water damage. Another couple thousand books suffered diminished value and most of the upholstered furniture was destroyed. The espresso machine had electrical until power to the building was cut off and may have drawn in smoke. Instead of offering smoked-flavored coffee, the machine received a complete overhaul.

Sanders said she had a great landlord, a great location, and a great following, but when the reconstruction launched, the space — that had originally housed three businesses — was now slated for four. The reduced quarters meant a narrower perspective and inventory shifts, or a search for an alternative location.

Listen to the audio to learn which New York Times bestselling author initially instigated the bookstore adventure, discover what transpired April Fools, and find out why dusting your books is a bad habit.
Masons help pack up the smoked out location

Workers took few breaks, striving to get the books to life saving measures