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Warrior Gabby Book Warehouse is a gem located in Searcy, built from the ground up through the sweat equity of the owners. Each week, a truckload of 42,000 books is delivered, processed and prepared to share with the public; 10,000 across multiple genres are processed and sorted each day. As they come in, the books are scanned, and a fancy algorithm lets the employees at Warrior Gabby know how to categorize each one.
Some of the books are sent to Amazon, while others are delivered all over the country to different booksellers. But the majority are sorted within the warehouse for the general public to purchase by the pound.
Books are sorted by genre into big bins. From there, shoppers can enjoy a day of treasure-hunting while searching for the topic of their choice. The owners love sharing the books with the public by pricing them by the pound regardless of their value. Books are 75 cents per pound, but customers have the option to pay $20 for a 40 to 50-pound box.
Warrior Gabby owners, Mike and Trish Ragsdale, along with partners Mark and Denise Eaton, started this business with a passion for getting books into the hands of children who have come across hard times. The Ragsdales and Eatons are friends who became family as well as business partners. Over a decade ago, they started riding motorcycles together and preferred to go by their road names: Rags, Gabby, Chewy and Bling. While riding, they became involved in the organization Warriors Empowering Children. The organization’s mission is to improve the self-esteem and morale of abused, bullied and neglected children.
As members of the organization, the Ragsdales and Eatons attend court dates with children, visit them at school, and are present when they are taken from their homes or parents for various reasons. Mike Ragsdale became so passionate about this organization that he left his position as a senior vice president of a Fortune 500 company to dedicate more time to it. He grew out his beard to look the part of a warrior for the benefit of making children feel safe, secure and encouraged when he accompanied them to court dates and lunch visits.
The passion of these families for abused and neglected children has undoubtedly spilled over into their work. Their real passion in the business is donating books to foster kids, child advocacy groups and prisons. Their generous heart and desire for the helpless have taken them on an unconventional journey that involves the massive warehouse full of books.
Warrior Gabby is a destination for all book lovers, teachers, parents and grandparents. There are classics, antiquarian books, author-autographed books, and collectibles available. You can find a section of antique first-edition books set aside for the collectors to shop through. Any book in that section has significant monetary value and is heavily discounted.
Sometimes the owners will toss some extremely high-value, autographed books into the 75 cents-per-pound bins. They love to watch the joy on shoppers’ faces when they find those hidden treasures.
With over 17 tons of books to process each week, not all books get a home. Rather than wasting reading material, the innovative owners are starting something unique. There will be a craft station set up where the public can watch the books turn into decorative treasures. The books will be used to make clocks, lamps, hidden bookshelves and other artistic and unique items. Hardback books are sold by the foot and by color for people in search of decorative books.
When you visit, expect a day of fun that includes an exceptional atmosphere with perfect lighting and loud music.
The owners emphasized that Warrior Gabby is a happy place and commented, “If you’re having a bad day, come in and give us ten minutes to turn your day around. After that, if you are still having a bad day (which is unlikely), leave so you don’t ruin it for everyone else.”
Warrior Gabby is the ultimate shopping experience for book lovers. A new partnership with Wild Sweet Williams baking house allows you to enjoy their famous scones while you shop on Saturday mornings.
A quick tip: Plan to make a day of shopping here. Warrior Gabby Book Warehouse is not a place that you stop in, find what you want quickly, and leave. It’s is a destination – a treasure hunt you are sure to leave planning your next trip.
“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” – Garrison Keillor
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