Welcome to ‘Locales’, a series that highlights vendors, businesses, and organizations who stand out in their respective communities through their passion and purpose.
Meet Becky Anderson-one of the many lifelines of Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville and learn more about her lineage and inspirations to keep Anderson’s Bookshop within her family and keep the love for reading alive.
I’m a fifth generation Napervillian. I have lived here most of my life, except for a few years for college and after I got married. We have three grown children, who have all worked in the business at different times growing up. I started working in our family drugstore Oswald’s pharmacy, when I was 11 years old. All three of my brothers work in the family businesses. I am in business with two of my three brothers right now in the book parts of the business.
“Your” people, your family, friends, those who inspire you and keep you going:
Our employees inspire me each and every day with their passion and creativity. I’m also inspired by my colleagues in independent book selling around the country. My husband and children are an incredible support system. One of my biggest inspirations of course is the authors and illustrators and the books they write and illustrate. Selling a books is like no other retail and those who create them are a huge inspiration for me every day. But what keeps me going is our community and the other communities in which we work; school districts, individual schools, educators, not for profits, and most of all the community of readers. The sharing of a book and the conversation that occurs over a good read is priceless.
When did you start your business and why?
It was our great great grandfather William Wallace Wickel that started our original family business, a drugstore in 1875. The drugstore is still in business today. We sold books from the very beginning and the first official bookstore was opened by our grandfather in 1964 above the pharmacy in the building that is now Ted’s Montana Grill. The pride we have as a family about our family businesses is what got me back into the business when a key employee left. It’s the joy of creating special events and placing the right book in the right readers hands that has kept me in our family business.
What was your inspiration to take the leap of faith or just go for it?
When I got back in the business when my husband I moved back to Naperville was being asked to step in because a key employee left. I didn’t intend to stay in the business but having the freedom and the creativity to help grow the business is what has kept me there.
What advice would you give moms or dads ~ who are starting their own company, or looking to change career paths or life paths?
Do what you love what brings you joy. Get out there connect with people the community in anyway you can. Getting outside your four walls is essential in order for a business to survive and thrive.
In life we have chapters, what would this chapter be titled? In a brief overview, where have you come from and where are you heading?
I‘d call this chapter of my life, don’t say why say why not. In order to grow you have to think outside of the box. But you also need to take chances. I really feel like I’ve helped our business become nationally known and helped to put us on the map. We host over 400 events a year now, many of them with well-known authors, celebrities, sports stars and so many more. We also have a great reputation of incredible service and suggesting books for any reader. My goal is to make sure that we stay a key part in our communities; A welcoming place where people can come for a great conversation and find a friend and a great book. Our mission statement says that our goal is to create lifelong readers and the work we do in promoting great children’s literature in anyway we can is a large part of that
How do you start your day?
Coffee of course! And read the newspapers. Knowing what’s going on in the world in your community is so important for anyone’s business.
What is your favorite inspiring quote, by who?
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies….. The man who never reads only lives one. George R.R. Martin
Written By: Dana Steinecker