This week marks the 34th anniversary of the grand opening of Reston’s Used Book Shop. The shop was originally opened by best friends Sue Schram and Sue Wensell. The Sue’s as they are affectionately known, long time book lovers and readers collected books found at yard sales; over time they decided that Reston should have a bookshop of its own.
Sue Wensell, a former resident of Denver,CO had been a patron of ‘The Tattered Cover’ and knew that its warm inviting style would do well in Reston. The Sue’s opened Reston’s Used Book shop on January 7, 1978 with inventory from their yard sale collection. That first weekend’s sales far exceeded their expectations, that was the good news, the bad news, they were desperately in need of new inventory!
In the ’80s Fairfax County teacher and Reston resident, Bud Burwell prowled the Book Shop for reading materials for his HS English class. Over time his affection for the Shop lead to his joining the part-time staff as a Summer employee along with Victoria Reid.
In the late 1990’s, the Sue’s ready to shed the responsibility of the Shop approached Bud, his wife Susie and Victoria about purchasing
the shop. The deal was struck and ownership of the space, the business and an inventory of 28,000 books transferred to Bud & Susie Burwell and Victoria Reid* on April 1, 1999.
The Burwell – Reid team expanded the Shop into the space next door, adding room for expanded inventory, a kid’s area and a great reading section for hosting a new book-club, musical events and local author readings.
The Shop hosts a ‘5th Sunday Bluegrass Jam’ where if you’re lucky you’ll hear owner Bud Burwell play the Hammered Dulcimer. Through his musical connections Bud also helps find musicians for the Saturday morning Market Music.
On any day and especially Saturdays’ you will find Bud and Susie at the shop with a myriad collection of customers and friends discussing books, politics and local happenings.
Happy Birthday to Reston’s Used Book Shop, a wonderful, charming, unique, and much loved treasure of Reston.
*In the mid-2000’s Ms. Reid sold her interest in the Book Shop when she found she was seriously ill, she passed away not long after that time.