HARRISBURG -- The Book Emporium in Harrisburg offers lovers of the printed word an opportunity to browse to their hearts' content.
Paperbacks of all kinds, along with a separate room for hardcover books fill the store at its 617 E. Church St. For Brooks, operating her store is a labor of love.
"Books are My Passion" is emblazoned on the door of the shop, and in talking with her, it's clear she stands behind the statement.
"I love it. I love having a bookstore," she said. "I don't think there's anything I'd rather do."
Brooks has operated the Book Emporium at two other locations since moving to Harrisburg. The store started out in Parker Plaza, and later moved to another location.
Now, it's conveniently located on the south side of Church Street across from the CVS Pharmacy drive-through exit.
Besides the hardcovers and paperbacks, Brooks maintains a sizable inventory of local history reads. "We're originally from Paris, Illinois, and I guess no one ever did anything noteworthy up there, because there sure weren't any books about it," Brooks said with a laugh. "We didn't have any gangsters."
She said upon moving to Harrisburg in the mid 1990s, she got a crash course in local history.
"The first thing people told me about was 'Murder in Little Egypt' and next it was Charlie Birger," Brooks said. "I try to keep a copy of all the local history books I can, because there is a lot of interest in it."
She also has a few copies of old Harrisburg High School yearbooks and other books with a local flavor.
The Book Emporium, which reopened in late October, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Brooks said she looks forward to helping people find books they like. "I think I've got a book for everyone," she said.