|Chequamegon Book Co, Washburn, WI|
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One of the joys of this journey is hearing the stories of the owners and the bookstores. I never get tired of this and even though I didn't meet Richard and Carol, the husband/wife owners of Chequamegon Book Company (pronounced, "sha-wahma-gann"), the bookstore has a long history as do the owners. Richard was the long-time owner of Avol's Bookstore in Madison, WI. Avol's was located downtown in a busy and vibrant college town. In 1995 they decided they needed a "calmer" environment, sold the bookstore in Madison, brought some of the inventory with them, and moved to this small town of approximately 2000 in extreme northern Wisconsin located on the shore of Lake Superior. They own the bookstore building and live above the bookstore, a perfect arrangement. Kickin' butt in Washburn since 1995 and still looking for new customers.
Chequamegon Books is a large bookstore on the main street through town . The inventory includes about 80,000 books on site and another 40,000 off site in storage, or as Richard calls it, job security (given the approximate numbers, this is about 60 books for every man, woman, and child in Washburn). Customers can receive store credit or cash depending on the books they bring in. They also offer a few new books.
The success of this store is largely reliant on tourists, many of whom come to this area as environmental tourists. Many of the regulars here are those people who visit annually. If you can't visit the store, consider purchasing online through various platforms. This is also a good way to view their online inventory and check out their vintage and collectible editions.
If the owners aren't here, the rock star you'll meet is Britton. She is fantastic to talk to and she'll be able to give you some good book recommendations. But as she told me, unbelievably the store doesn't attract as many locals as it would like. Part of that is not only the small population of Washburn but the small population of the county. So while the slogan for tourists might be "discover Wisconsin," the slogan for locals might be, "Discover Chequamegon Books!" If you're in Washburn or Bayfield County, check out this wonderful bookstore and find out what the tourists have discovered. A super bookstore with a great team of people. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: Sooley, John Grisham. Story of a family in South Sudan and their son who is a rising basketball star hoping to go to the US and play in college and dream of the NBA. But there are problems for his family in South Sudan due to war which leaves Sooley torn. Can he make it in college? In the NBA? I like John Grisham and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Basketball fans especially will like this. Recommended.
CURRENTLY READING: The Music Shop, Rachel Joyce.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: Maybe I'll Pitch Forever, Leroy (Satchel) Paige. Fire Keeper's Daughter, Angeline Boulley.
|The bookstore is housed in this historic building built in the late 19th century. The entire ground floor is the bookstore. |
|My happy sign. |
|View looking into the store from the front entrance. |
|View looking to the right from the front entrance. |
|Always good to now. Remember, the store also carries some new books. |
|Head over to the left side of the store and begin your browse. |
|The store is floor to ceiling books so the rolling ladders will come in handy. |
|Partial view of the children's section which is located immediately to the right after entering and then in the front of the store. |
|Looking into the room on the right in the front of the store. |
|I could put in some good reading time here. |
|This room has some 95¢ bargains. |
|Overview of the room on the right side of the store. |
|You must know someone who would enjoy the multiple volumes of The Oxford English Dictionary?|
|One of my favorite pictures in any bookstore. |
|View of the back room which is a recent addition. |
|Looking to the right as you enter the back room. |
|Look for this interesting title in the back room. |
|Come to this back room for CDs. |
|The very back of the bookstore. |
|This reader took a break from eating berries and came in to look for a book. All are welcomed here. |
|Lots of maps offered here. |
|The only upstairs is in this new room at the back of the store. This is an overview of that room. |
|Two great places to sit and a nice view looking out the window. |
|An overview of the new addition looking down from the 2nd floor. Notice the brick, which was the exterior of the building before the addition. |
|Indies are renowned for their community causes. Way to go, Chequamegon. |
|With Britton, the fine store manager at Chequamegon Book Co. Thanks for a great visit. |