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A new hope for Seven Rays Bookstore

For most of August, the sign in the window at Seven Rays Bookstore said "re-opening soon." Just the month before the sign had read "Closing Sale -- 60% off." There was buzz among the merchants in the neighborhood. This was good news.

"A lot of people really liked the old store. Maybe it wasn't for everyone, but most people could find something of interest in there," Abigail Niles of Boom Babies Classic and Vintage Clothing across the street, said.

"I think if the business had closed permanently it would have been a real loss. There's nothing else like that store in the area. And it certainly beats the rumored Starbucks!"

Sean Chilson, manager of the Recess Coffee House around the corner, agreed. "The bookstore's been a very powerful, very important part of the community here," he said. "They've had a big influence on how this neighborhood has developed. They've got a loyal following and it's good for all of us that they're reopening."

"I think it would be sadly missed if it wasn't here. I used to go there several times a year," Brenda Hamilton, of Westcott Florist, said. "It's a staple in the neighborhood. People come to Westcott Street just for that store, and the rest of us benefit."

"I don't know how it's going to be," Craig Buckingham, of Unique Bath and Beauty, said. "Different managers bring in different values, different ideas. The old bookstore had a really good selection of incense and books."

Still, he added, "It's a good thing the store's reopening."

The new owners are Betsy Rengert, her husband David and her daughter Chrissie.

"We'd talked about it before, my daughter and I," Betsy Rengert said. "We said this is our Mecca. If it ever comes available we have to buy it. Little did we know!

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