Anderson's in Naperville celebrates '50 years of that love of reading'
Six generations. Hundreds of authors. Thousands upon thousands of books. Millions upon millions of words.
Anderson's Bookshop is celebrating five decades of selling stories as an independent family business in downtown Naperville with discounts, raffles, treats and an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at 123 W. Jefferson Ave.
"We are celebrating 50 years of that love of reading and sharing that right book with everyone you can," said Becky Anderson, who owns the store along with siblings Tres Anderson and Pete Anderson. "There's nothing like opening a book."
Anderson's in downtown Naperville will be the hub of the celebration, which runs through Sunday. But the Two Doors East gift shop at 111 W. Jefferson Ave., and the Downers Grove location at 5112 Main St. also be discounting all items 25 percent for members and 10 percent for everyone else.
The bookseller now known as Anderson's Bookshop became its own business in 1964, but its roots date back even further, nearly 140 years, to the founding of what's now known as Oswald's Pharmacy.
Early generations of the Anderson family sold books from above the drugstore, which originally was called W.W. Wickel Pharmacy. But in 1964, a separate book store launched and Anderson's Bookshop was born.
"Our grandfather, who was such a huge voracious reader, if he was still alive, he would love to see what it's become -- such a staple of the community," Anderson said about the business. "It's so great to celebrate what he started."
Naperville City Council members kicked off the celebration Wednesday by proclaiming Thursday, Nov. 6, as Anderson's Bookshop Day in Naperville.
"Anderson's Bookshop has remained a thriving family business for six generations and has brought countless authors to the community and the surrounding area," council member Grant Wehrli read from the proclamation marking the day in the shop's honor.
Among Anderson's favorite authors to visit Naperville over the years are J.K. Rowling, Yann Martel, Sara Gruen and Caroline Kennedy, she told the Daily Herald earlier this year.
Scheduled author visits include John Cleese discussing his memoir "So, Anyway ..." at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, at the Tivoli Theatre at 5021 Highland Ave. in Downers Grove; Newt and Callista Gingrich talking about their books "Breakout" and "From Sea to Shining Sea" at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, in the Naperville store at 123 W. Jefferson Ave.; and hockey Hall of Famer and former Blackhawk Chris Chelios sharing his book "Made in America" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, at the Naperville store.
"We see what books can do when you share something you love and what words can do for people," Anderson said. "We're not in this to make big bucks, but I think we're promoting a love of books."