Anderson’s named 2011 Bookstore of the Year
From Submitted Reports March 15, 2011 3:06PM
Updated: April 29, 2011 10:00AM
Oswald’s Pharmacy, the forerunner of Naperville-based Anderson’s Bookshops, and Publishers Weekly, the national industry magazine of publishers, librarians and booksellers, are about the same age; 135-plus years.
But their parallel paths crossed Tuesday in a major way when Publishers Weekly announced that Anderson’s Bookshops is the 2011 Bookstore of the Year, the highest honor recognizing independent booksellers.
Anderson’s Books, which includes Anderson’s Bookshops in Naperville and Downers Grove, ABC Fairs in Aurora, and Two Doors East, 111 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville, will be honored in May at a ceremony at the annual convention, Book Expo America in New York. The winner will also be featured in Publishers Weekly’s pre-BEA issue on April 25.
Anderson’s is a sixth-generation family bookstore that traces its roots back 136 years to the founding of W.W. Wickel Pharmacy (now Oswald’s Pharmacy), which sold books and other items before launching a separate bookstore in 1964. According to the Publishers Weekly announcement, the store’s nomination included dozens of supporting letters and e-mails.
Naperville native and co-owner Becky Anderson plays a big role in issues related to publishing and book selling. She will be accepting the award on behalf of her siblings/business partners Tres, Pete and Bill and the company’s staff. Becky Anderson is vice president of the American Booksellers Association and has been selected to serve as president. She is also past president of both the Association of Booksellers for Children and the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association.
“I don’t really know of another store as involved in their community as this store, or as involved with their local schools, or as involved with authors or in giving authors a platform. They do everything and they do it a bit better than other stores,” wrote Ev Taylor, regional sales manager for Penguin Books for Young Readers.
“As both a publisher and an editor,” said Katherine Tegen of Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, in her nomination, “I know that Anderson’s is one of my most important retail partners on both the regional and the national level — for their reach is large. Anderson’s is truly a tastemaker. I don’t know how I would survive in publishing without them.”
Anderson’s Bookshop also received an important local honor just last year, when the company won the Naperville Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award and Retail Business of the Year.