By: Madeline Klepec | | Published On: 2019-04-26
For those who might be unaware, April 27 is celebrated as National Independent Bookstore Day. This is a day to celebrate independent bookstores near you. Naperville is 河北快3走势图 to our very own independent bookstore: Anderson’s Bookshop. Anderson’s has been gracing Jefferson Avenue in downtown Naperville since 1964. However, the Anderson family has done business in Naperville since well before then.
Read our interview below with Candy Purdom of publicity and events at Anderson’s to learn more about the bookshop and other bookish information:
What is the best thing about having the bookshop located in downtown Naperville?
Our Naperville roots run deep. The Anderson’s family has had a downtown Naperville business location since 1875. That’s why we are here; fortunately, today we’re right smack in the center of this vibrant city and have successfully grown and adapted with the times. Remarkably rare these days, the sixth generation of the same family works here.
Can you give us a little background about Anderson’s and some of the events the store hosts as well?
Anderson’s Bookshop has been an independent bookshop on Jefferson Avenue since 1964. We branched off from the family’s original pharmacy after identifying an interest from the community for a bookshop. We have been honored ever since by the loyalty of generations of Naperville readers. Now, with three bookshops, in addition to our Anderson’s Toyshop, we host over 400 events a year. These are primarily author chats (or) book signings. (There are) also other opportunities including literary conferences, book clubs, humor nights and public discussion groups, among others.
What is the most rewarding aspect about working at an independently-owned bookshop such as Anderson’s?
It truly feels like a family working here. Some employees have been with the company for 25 years, and that just speaks to the support and respect shown to the staff. Over the years, Anderson’s has assumed an even more important role in the communities we serve. The changing ways customers purchase their books has winnowed down the physical spaces people can shop. Here, readers can still benefit from the hands-on expertise of booksellers who make genuine suggestions based on readers’ likes and dislikes. We offer a curated selection of thousands of really great reads and can make special orders for titles not found on our shelves. Putting the right books in the right hands is our reward!
How do you think Anderson’s has impacted the Naperville community?
In so many aspects large and small! Yes, we sell books and toys in our stores, but we also bring people into our communities, like the 70,000 plus who attended our community-wide Harry Potter party in the summer of 2007. That is in addition to the incredible ways area schools benefit from the author visits we arrange through our Aurora-based Anderson’s Book Fair 河北快3走势图. We run our heartwarming Book Angel program during the holidays where our generous customers select books for local children who are underserved. Over 2,200 books were gifted to those children in 2018. We have a continuing Books for Troops drive where books are provided to members of our working military around the world.
Naperville’s IndieBound group was initiated here a decade ago and continues to meet monthly to encourage and promote local independent businesses. One of our owners, Becky Anderson, has served as president of the American Booksellers Association and has longstanding connections with all the leading publishers, so we are clearly recognized across the nation. Anderson’s has won many awards over the years, including the prestigious Bookseller of the Year award in 2011 by Publisher’s Weekly. The reach we have in the community and in the country河北快3走势图 helps strengthen the uniqueness of Naperville and brings a great deal of attention to what this amazing city has to offer.
Why do you love to read, and what’s your favorite go-to book you’ve read multiple times?
I love to read and always have. The places reading can take you; the lessons you can learn; the emotions books stir; (and) the joy, the humor and the humanity books provide is almost indescribable. Worlds await between the covers of a book. There are so many books to read, so I appreciate the fact that new journeys await in each and every one! I have reread classics like “To Kill a Mockingbird,” but I tend to dive into the next new book on my pile rather than go back. Working at a bookshop luckily means that that mountain of books is always high!
Any other additional information you would like to include about Anderson’s?
Anderson’s Bookshop is a jewel for our community. We sell books the old-fashioned way: we READ them. Whether this was the place you met the unknown JK Rowling with her very first Harry Potter book when she visited 20 years ago; or if you were the sweet, blushing bride-to-be whose sweetheart proposed here last year; or maybe this was the spot where little-you got a hug from the Cat in the Hat; or perhaps you stood in line on a chilly December day to meet the former President of the United States; maybe you were among thousands to thank one of the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs when you met David Ross; or (you) joined us to be delightfully serenaded by a Broadway star. There is always something for you at Anderson’s Bookshops. Long live books!
Go out and celebrate National Independent Bookstore Day by visiting Anderson’s Bookshop to purchase that book you’ve been eyeing. Anderson’s is located at 123 W. Jefferson Ave in Naperville.