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Mocks buy Glassheim’s used bookstore in Grand Forks

Rep. Corey Mock and his wife, Jeannie Mock, look at their newly acquired book collection with its former owner, Rep. Eliot Glassheim on Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014, in Grand Forks, N.D. (Logan Werlinger/Grand Forks Herald)1 / 5
Shelves of books at Rep. Corey Mock's house in his newly acquired bookstore on Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014, in Grand Forks, N.D. (Logan Werlinger/Grand Forks Herald)2 / 5
Rep. Corey Mock moves a box used to transport books into the storage area in his newly acquired bookstore on Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014, in Grand Forks, N.D. (Logan Werlinger/Grand Forks Herald)3 / 5
Rep. Corey Mock and his wife, Jeannie Mock, look at their newly acquired book collection on Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014, in Grand Forks, N.D. The Mock's are taking over a book store from Rep. Eliot Glassheim and have set up the store and shelves at their home. (Logan Werlinger/Grand Forks Herald)4 / 5
Rep. Corey Mock opens the door for Rep. Eliot Glassheim to see Mock's new bookstore on Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014, in Grand Forks, N.D. (Logan Werlinger/Grand Forks Herald)5 / 5

Eliot Glassheim was almost joking when he asked Corey Mock to buy his bookstore.

The two state representatives from Grand Forks were driving home in November from a meeting in Bismarck when Glassheim inquired about Dr. Eliot's Twice Sold Tales, which sells used books online and appraises books.

Mock contacted his wife, City Council member Jeannie Mock, and they decided on the spot to buy Glassheim's bookstore.

"I was very surprised," Glassheim said. "He kept asking me questions ... so then I was selling (the store) for the rest of the trip back (from Bismarck)."

The Mocks plan to maintain "the legacy" of Glassheim's long-running used bookstore, but they also have new ideas for the business, including repurposing books into art or household items, Corey Mock said. For example, old or damaged books could be remade into clocks, lamps, decorations or hollowed out as small boxes.

"It's very exciting to me," Glassheim said. "I never thought of any of that stuff."

After purchasing the store, the Mocks have worked this past week to move 6,000 books from Glassheim's house to their house.

They will continue selling books online at Amazon.com and Abebooks.com, Mock said. They'll sell the repurposed books online at Etsy.com, and they will also seek vendor partnerships to sell those products in local stores, he said.

The bookstore

Glassheim had just casually been looking to sell his bookstore, he said.

"I was getting older and started thinking about what to do with all my possessions," he said. He knew his wife or son didn't want to take the bookstore, he said.

Dr. Eliot's Twice Sold Tales has had several incarnations, first as a used bookstore downtown in the '90s, Glassheim said.

He later sold the store, but he ended up getting the business back after the physical store burned down in the fire after the 1997 Red River flood.

A City Council member at the time, Glassheim mentioned the burned bookstore in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning as national media covered the flood.

Without warning, a truck filled with donated books from Minnesota arrived sometime after the CBS news story, giving Glassheim the inventory to continue Dr. Eliot's Twice Sold Tales from within his home in 2002, selling the books online.

New ideas

Glassheim said he already misses the bookstore a little.

"It was kind of more of a hobby to me," he said. Since most of the 6,000-book inventory is with the Mocks, there are several empty spaces in his house and garage.

But Glassheim is very excited for the Mocks to take over. He said the couple seems to have a genuine interest for the book-selling business, and he likes their idea of repurposing books, he said. "It's working out very nicely."

Both Corey and Jeannie Mock said they're excited to take on the bookstore.

"I absolutely adore (Glassheim's) story, and we plan to carry on that legacy," Corey Mock said.

Many of the books in the store's inventory are academic books, rare books, self-published or local interest books, he said.

The Mocks will continue partnering with the Community Violence Intervention Center in Grand Forks, as Glassheim did, to sell some books with partial profits going to the nonprofit, Mock said.

Though they're just getting started, the Mocks have already had a new logo made for the business, featuring an illustration of Glassheim above the store's name, which will remain Dr. Eliot's Twice Sold Tales.

"The font and logo are light-hearted while professional -- exactly how Eliot is remembered by most," Mock said.

Charly Haley

Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.