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The Christmas season is finally upon us Mountain Home and the time to buy presents is quickly running out!
If you’re still looking for a gift for the special book lover in your life, Cotter native Ashley Watroba has you covered with her Treat Yo Shelf Books bookstore in downtown Mountain Home.
“I love books,” said Watroba on opening her modern bookstore in downtown Mountain Home. “I grew up loving words and everything about them. Going to the library has always been my sanctuary and I wanted to have that even more. I wanted to be able to create a sanctuary for everybody, and a safe place with books. It’s the best of both worlds.”
A lifelong Cotter native, Watroba learned to love books from her father, who would often read her poetry from Shel Silverstein as a child. As she continued to grow, the young bookstore owner would often find herself sneaking off to the library or local bookstore to read Goosebumps by R.L. Stine.
As she grew older, Watroba began to drift to more satirical books from Kurt Vonnegut as she sought a degree in English while attending ASU-Mountain Home before moving to Florida to start a family with her husband, Joseph Watroba.
“I love Kurt Vonnegut, he’s my favorite author,” Watroba said. “He’s written a lot throughout the years, but it’s either Slaughterhouse-Five or Cat’s Cradle. It’s a satirical, anti-war propaganda novel. I read it in college in one of my English classes and I liked it, but it didn’t really resonate with me that much. Then I read it again a few years later and I felt different reading it again. That was the moment, I realized that this is really what I want to do.”
After living in Florida for five years, Watroba and her husband returned to Mountain Home last year to be closer to her family.
Upon returning, Watroba was saddened to learn that Hastings Bookstore in Mountain Home had closed its doors during her time away from home. That sadness quickly turned to action as Watroba decided to open her own bookstore in Mountain Home.
After spending some time looking for a location, she settled on her bright pink building in downtown Mountain Home off of South Main Street.
Treat Yo Shelf Books was born and quickly opened its doors in Jan. of this year.
“I don’t know a single person who could say that books haven’t had some impact on their lives,” Watroba said. “Books are where you go when you want to escape. So, if you need something, even if it’s just a brief respite of fresh air, it’s where you go. You can live a thousand lives.”
Treat Yo Shelf Books features book sections for babies/toddlers, early readers, banned books, non-books, non-fiction, fiction, clothing, and gift sets. The bookstore also has a game section and a manga section for teenagers and adults who are into Japanese comics.
This month’s most popular books at Treat Yo Shelf are Quantum Radio by A.G. Riddle, I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy, Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros and more. If a resident cannot find a recent book release, Watroba said she can have it delivered to their doorstep in a week or so.
Online ordering is also available through Treat Yo Shelf’s website.
For those adventurous souls looking to dip their toes into new genres and styles, Watroba also offers a section of “blind date” books that feature wrapped books with written blurbs about one of the characters residing inside.
Treat Yo Shelf Books is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parking for the store can be found in the parking lot by First Security Bank or along E. 8th Street and South Baker Street. Residents are encouraged to grab a cup of coffee at Cove Coffee before walking to the bookstore at 809 S. Main Street.