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An Open Book is closing

An Open Book will remain open on a limited basis, but is entering closing stages. The owner said at this point if you see the "Open Today" sign it's open for business. The business will either sell out or return remaining inventory but has several "Book Ends" events scheduled through December. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

The owner of An Open Book says the Wadena bookstore will be closing soon.

Book sales and events, however, are still happening on a limited basis through December, according to book store owner Gillette Kempf. If you see the "OPEN TODAY!" sign out front, it means the store is open.

Kempf has owned the business in Wadena for 12 years and said she's moved locations four times in those years, always trying to meet the needs of customers.

Kempf said the decision to turn to the next chapter in her life came after her husband took another job in St. Paul. He's already moved to River Falls, Wisc., and Kempf is selling inventory and likely returning inventory that does not sell soon. Her mother lives in Wadena, one reason she will continue to return to the area and continue to sell books from a "book mobile." Kempf said she is giving out her cell phone number to customers that wish to continue to use her as a personal book shopper.

Kempf was thankful to all in the area that supported the book business. She said that book stores like hers are sustainable in a community like Wadena if businesses create community awareness and are willing to serve customers in ways that the online community can't.

Kempf has been unable to sell the business to date, but said there is little risk involved considering comic book sales alone pay for the space and all other inventory can be returned for full credit. She said it's a turnkey business that would be sad to see close in Wadena.

"It's getting cheaper and cheaper, because as I return inventory and collect checks from my vendors, it's less that you are buying," Kempf said for those interested in buying.

Kempf said those that supported the business were farmers, blue-collar workers and tourists, all looking for a unique read and someone that could help them find just what they wanted.

"I'm grateful and thankful for all of the time and fun and everything that I've had," Kempf said.

She said that Wadena has a great deal of potential and hopes the community would support keeping a local business like a bookstore open.