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Blue Umbrella owner hopes auction will ‘save’ his bookshop

Russell Atwood, owner of Blue Umbrella Books. (Photo by Peter Currier)

WESTFIELD – Blue Umbrella Books owner Russell Atwood has made public his struggle to keep his shop open.

The book store’s Facebook page has had numerous posts since last summer about the need for funds to keep it going, and he is hoping to save his store with a silent auction Jan. 13-25 at 2 Main St. starting at 11 a.m. Atwood will auction off some of the store’s unique items, including local collector’s items, books and artwork.

Auction items include, among others, a vintage Shaker Farms Country Club pyroware glass plate, depicting local golf course and pars, circa 1960, which Atwood said is a rare piece of Westfield and golfer memorabilia; a Harry Potter Package, which includes a glass sculptures of the Sorting Hat and Hedwig the White Owl, created by artist Hugh Naggar, plus a Harry Potter postage stamp book (incomplete) and rare first edition of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”; a Doctor Who and The Prisoner British Sci-fi Package, which includes the LP “Genesis of the Daleks” narrated by Tom Baker, “Soundtrack to Space: 1999,” “Soundtrack to The Prisoner,” plus three publications on the creation of The Prisoner.

Other auction items include a Black Squirrel Package from local artist and author Susan Buffam, a signed first edition collection of the horror novels of author Tom Deady, several collections of vinyl records, Star Wars stamps and more.

Atwood posted that the event was to “save the bookshop from extinction” and offer some of his higher-priced items at an affordable price.

“We have a lot of great unique items in stock, which people often admire, but their price tags are too high. At the same time, they aren’t doing the bookshop any good just gathering dust. So, we’ve put together 26 amazing auction items and packages ranging from Westfield memorabilia, classic rock LPs, original paintings, stamp collections, Harry Potter glasswork by artist Hugh Naggar, to name but a few,” stated Atwood.

The items have been sorted by alphabet and those interested can bid in person, online and by phone. The auction ends Jan. 25.

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