|Redbery Books - Cable, WI|
What are the odds? The odds that I can travel all over the country and never see anyone from Iowa, let alone my hometown of Cedar Rapids. Yet in the tiny town of Cable, WI, (population 825) visiting Redbery Books, I meet a bookseller from, gasp, Cedar Rapids, IA! Another wonderful coincidence as I visit this country's independent bookstores. A better question you might have is how does a town of 825 in remote northern Wisconsin have a successful independent bookstore? Not as unbelievable as you might think.
As with all indies, this one enjoys many contributing factors making it a successful business. They have a great set-up here and they share their building with two very compatible businesses; a grocery/cafe where you can get a cup of coffee and pick up small natural foods grocery items; and The Rivers Eatery, a pizza place located in the back of the building. You can move freely about all three businesses and they all enjoy an over-lapping of customers. Maureen, the owner, recently purchased the business from Bev. B. The bookstore has been around for 10 years so Bev has obviously laid a great foundation. I had a great chat with Maureen and with her library background there's no reason Redbery Books can't continue to be a successful indie. Cable is a resort area that attracts people from Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis and naturally these people are used to visiting bookstores. The area also attracts many silent sports enthusiasts who enjoy kayaking, cross-country skiing, biking and more. These people also visit bookstores. The summer months bring a huge influx of tourists who need a bookstore. Throw in many local festivals and an already solid base of local customers and you have a "perfect storm" for success.
I know some of you who read this will be doubters. Doubt no more. This indie has EVERYTHING you'll find in all the good ones, no matter what size of town it's in. New and used books? Check. Recent releases? Check. Coloring books and wine events? Check (but good luck staying inside those lines!). Kids section? Check. Website that allows on-line orders? Check (and free shipping too!). Knowledgeable and friendly staff? The best!
Maureen, Susan, and Sarah were wonderful to talk to during my visit. But I have a feeling everyone in Cable already knows this. I have a lot of kayaking friends who like books. I've just found their next destination. Discover Cable, WI and discover the greater bookstore there that has it all. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: Fourth Of July Creek, Smith Henderson. A social worker in remote Montana deals with destitute and neglected children as well as his divorced wife and runaway daughter who make his own life situation as needy as the families he deals with. A good read and this one gets a lot of good reviews.
CURRENTLY READING: The Ice Harvest, Scott Phillips.
|Hang a right at this sign and you're in!|
|A nice outside display.|
|Outside window display.|
|Looking to the left as you enter the store. This is a portion of the cafe and natural foods grocery.|
|Looking to the right as you enter the store. Devoted followers might recognize the reclusive celebrity looking at the wall of books. Yes, that's my mom.|
|Another view looking through the store towards the right.|
|A great place to sit and try out a book.|
|The new books are in and waiting for a home!|
|A nice display of bestsellers.|
|Need a bargain? Find these bins.|
|Looking straight back through the store from the front.|
|A portion of the children's section.|
|I said they have everything here all the others have. Not sure if you can get a NY Times anywhere else in Cable, WI!|
|If you're hard on your readers like I am, this is a welcome display.|
|See what the book clubs are reading.|
|One of the neatly arranged bookshelves.|
|Silent sports are big here. Get those books in this area.|
|Some of the greeting cards available.|
|A nice display of local interests and authors.|
|You'll need a healthy snack to go with the book you'll be getting!|
|Looking into The Rivers Eatery which occupies the rear space of the building.|
|Susan on the left and Sarah in the middle, two of the fine booksellers at Redbery Books. Thanks for a great visit.|