La Grange Welcomes Anderson’s Bookshop

I was first introduced to suburban independent bookstore Anderson’s Bookshop when wandering through downtown Downers Grove, waiting to catch a train to my evening class in the city. I was in my second year of a master’s program in writing and publishing at DePaul University, and had recently started a course on small presses (the very class from which the idea for litcity312.com began to take shape). With the recent exit of Borders from many communities and the only nearby bookstore being a large Barnes and Noble buried within busy Oak Brook Mall, I was thrilled to find a bookstore I could comfortably wander through. It was clean and organized, smelled purely of new books, and was peaceful enough to read a book jacket undisturbed. It was a place where you knew people respected the sacredness of books and weren’t there just to use the restroom or grab a coffee between their trips to JCrew and Nieman Marcus.

IMG_0840When I moved back to the Wheaton area, I discovered the Anderson’s location in Naperville. It quickly became one of my favorite spots downtown. And after this weekend, another popular suburban downtown is gaining this community staple: A new Anderson’s Bookshop location opened Saturday morning in LaGrange, IL. The independent bookstore was welcomed with a full grand opening celebration, including a ribbon cutting, champagne toast, and author visits throughout the day.

The Anderson family spoke after the ribbon cutting, sharing their excitement about the new location and their hopes to use books to build bridges and bring members of the local community closer together. The village president also warmly welcomed the business. He noted the legacy the family had created with its bookstores, which began in 1875: the great-great grandfather of the current owners opened a pharmacy in Naperville, IL and began selling books on the second floor. The family opened its first official bookstore above the pharmacy in 1964, and the bookstores continue to grow and thrive to this day, with three locations in suburbs.

IMG_0824Also spotted at the opening: CBS 2 Evening Anchor Rob Johnson. For the kids, the Cat in the Hat, Curious George and Clifford were there to take pictures. Later in the day, romance writer Susan Elizabeth Phillips signed copies of her book, Heroes Are My Weakness. On Sunday, the store welcomed former Playboy Bunny Holly Madison to sign copies of her new book, Down the Rabbit Hole.

Congratulations to Anderson’s on a successful opening! And it’s not too late to contribute to the Indiegogo campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/i-built-a-bookshop#/story.

More to come – we’re working on getting an interview with Anderson’s bookshop to talk more about how they began, the challenges and successes they’ve had as an independent bookstore, and what’s ahead for the family-owned business. Stay tuned!

 

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Marcy Farrey is a storyteller with a passion for all things literary and independent. She has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University. Despite living in Illinois most of her life, she only recently became an official resident of the City of Chicago. She spent the first two years of her career working as a one-man band TV news reporter and producer, and she's still recovering. She now works as a corporate communications professional in Chicago.

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