“Would you like to know the secret of the shop?” asked a voice when I stepped inside Point of the Heart in Wheeling, West Virginia. My eyes then landed on Sandra Baker, who opened the small used bookstore earlier this year.
Sandra proceeded to give me the quick tour of the small store, pointing out the various genres in her inventory, from the expected (contemporary fiction, mysteries) to the somewhat unique for such a small shop (aging, ancestry, self-help and healing). Shelves line the walls on both sides of the long, narrow space, with stacks of books piled around on tables and in chairs. That’s not to mention the eclectic artwork and knick-knacks scattered about.
In fact, if there’s a word to describe Point of the Heart, it’s eclectic. An impressive collection of used books isn’t the only reason to frequent the store. In addition to bookseller, Sandra’s business card also labels her a Reiki master and Intuitive, and she offers Usui Reiki sessions at the shop.
Reiki is a Japanese energy healing technique used in the treatment of physical, emotional and mental diseases developed by Mikao Usui in the early 20th century. Its principles include recognizing and releasing angry feelings, letting go of worry, practicing gratitude, recognizing your own consciousness and practicing kindness. Sandra treated me to a free session while I browsed.
Sandra opened the shop earlier this year in what she and others have labeled the Wheeling Book District. Point of the Heart is located a few doors down from Chuck Wood’s Vigilant Books and a few blocks from West Virginia’s oldest indie bookshop, Paradox Bookstore. The respective owners are a prime example of bookseller camaraderie, as opposed to competition, each offering its own unique twist on a book business and, in Sandra’s case, Reiki studio.
Point of the Heart is located at 1912 Market Street in Wheeling and is open Tuesday through Saturday.