AP NEWS

New owner named for Monroe book shop

May 7, 2019

MONROE — A beloved town institution will be able to keep its doors open, albeit under a new name and with a new owner.

Linda Devlin, owner of the book shop Linda’s Story Time, 447 Monroe Turnpike, announced earlier this year that she planned to retire in June, but hoped that the store could stay open under a new owner.

Devlin, 62, has owned the store for roughly 20 years, and she made the decision to retire for a number of reasons, but mainly because the timing seemed right. Shortly after a story on Devlin’s quest for a successor ran in the Connecticut Post, Pia Ledina, 49, of Newtown, stopped in the store.

Ledina said she was curious about the store after reading the article and, after more than a decade as a school librarian, she realized she was ready for a change.

“I never expected to leave the school library environment, but I had been interested in running a book shop,” she said.

So, Ledina said, when Devlin saw her in the store and asked if she was interested in buying it, Ledina said yes.

On Tuesday, Ledina announced on Facebook that she was leaving her job as a librarian at Reed Intermediate School in Newtown and taking over Linda’s Story Time.

Though she and Devlin are still finalizing the transaction, their plan is that, by June 1, Ledina will be owner of the store, which will be renamed Turning the Page.

The store focuses mostly on literature for children, from babyhood to the teens. Ledina said her history as a librarian to middle grade kids puts the store’s demographic right in her wheelhouse.

“When I walked into the store, it was like coming home,” she said.

Devlin, meanwhile, said Ledina is just the kind of buyer she was looking for — someone with a deep knowledge of books (particularly children’s literature) and an ability to work with the public.

“I think the store is really going to flourish,” Devlin said.

Though Ledina has not run a small business before, she did have a long career in the business world before she became a librarian. And, she said, managing a school library is not unlike running a small business. There are budget concerns and questions about what items to purchase and what will appeal to the clientele.

Ledina has already made at least one big decision about the store — changing the name. For one thing, she said “my name isn’t Linda,” so Linda’s Story Time wasn’t really appropriate for her.

“I wanted to choose a name that was important to me, and what I’m doing on my journey,” Ledina said.

Devlin said she liked the new name. “It’s kind of cool, because we literally are turning the page,” she said.