NEW BEDFORD (WBSM) — Tucked away on New Bedford’s Tarkiln Hill Road is one of the city’s newest and most eclectic stores, and its owner has started a book swap to ensure that customers can get their hands on something to read even when they can’t afford to buy a book.

You can bring in up to three books a week into Treasure Hill Thrift Emporium, located at 118B Tarkiln Hill Road, and swap them with something on the store’s shelves that you want to take home.

“I don’t think you should have to pay to get knowledge, and everyone should have the same access to it,” proprietor Kasey-Lynne Tetreault said. “So as long as you have something (to swap), you can come in and swap up to three books a week.”

Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media

She said so far, the book swap has been a moderate success, with at least three people a week coming in to swap out books of their own for something at the store mostly just through word of mouth and social media.

“It’s kind of like expanded our library, a lot of people bring in more books than they swap,” Tetreault said. “It’s kind of cool to see what people read. It diversifies what we have at the same time.”

Tetreault can use the book swap idea to see what customers are into reading, and then can put books aside that come in that she knows they’d like, creating a more personalized experience.

“People come in here looking for specific authors, but almost always leave with something, something different or new,” she said.

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Tetreault herself likes to read books on sociology and history.

“I went to school for social work, so I’m always looking for how the mind works, how we work as a society,” she said.

Owning a thrift store can be a bit of a sociological experiment itself, in a shop where every item has a history.

“A lot of this stuff has already been gone through by family members, so this is the stuff that people haven’t seen value in,” Tetreault said. “Yet when you come through (the store), you almost always see something that you like, but it’s been passed down through people that don’t see it.”

“So it’s been nice to actually get this stuff into new homes where people actually enjoy them and take care of them,” she said.

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Treasure Hill Thrift Emporium has only been open since November 3, 2023, but Tetreault said the store has taken on a life of its own.

“We’re just taking it one day at a time and seeing what happens,” she said. “I feel like this store has evolved and it’s like its own entity that just continues to evolve in its own direction, beyond my understanding, so I just kind of go with it and let it create.”

Take a look at some of the eclectic items you'll find at Treasure Hill:

New Bedford's Treasure Hill Thrift Emporium

Treasure Hill Thrift Emporium on Tarkiln Hill Road in New Bedford is one of the city's most unique shops. Proprietor Kasey-Lynne Tetreault has added a 'book swap' so customers can have access to knowledge without having to pay for it.

Gallery Credit: Tim Weisberg

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The John B. Dixon Recycling Center has a little something for everyone within its sheds.

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