Books & Brownstone!
Richard Avol and his partner and wife Carol are proprietors at Chequamegon Book & Coffee Company in Washburn, Wisconsin.
More than 70,000 books sit on the shelves of their enormous brownstone on the main street of Washburn. You'll discover everything from paperbacks to rare books along with cards, coffee, CDs and friendly assistance. Don't be surprised if someone remembers what books you bought the last time they saw you!
When Richard and Carol purchased the 1888 historic brownstone, it was a combination rooming house and boat building shop. Originally housing dry goods, it has been home to a newspaper, an Odd Fellow Hall, an attorney, and in 1990s, a bookstore. The Avols searched for years to find the perfect location for their business. The "Union Block" (large buildings were often called blocks) or "Meehan Mercantile Company" building was a favorite and when, on a cold, winter day, the owner called them to say, "Still want to buy my building?" they sold their Madison store and moved north.
You will discover new, used, and discounted books on every conceivable subject: history, poetry, art, politics, gardening, outdoor adventure, travel, health, antiques – truly an endless list.
There are so many to choose from that Richard has been heard to say, "We have books that no one has or even wants to have!" The bookstore is also a source for rare, esoteric, scholarly and hard-to-find books, along with the expertise to evaluate these treasures.
What you won't find at the Chequamegon Book & Coffee Company are romance or graphic novels, computer how-to books, textbooks or magazines.
Richard and Carol Avol have a long, deep history in the book business. Before coming to Washburn in 1995, they built the successful Avol's Books in Madison, Wisconsin. For over 30 years, they have bought and sold books, assisted libraries, and done countless appraisals for private collectors and estate sales. They are frequently contacted by wholesalers who are aware of what the bookstore is looking for. The Avols have a reputation for fair dealings and they still get inquiries from the Madison area for their specialized assistance.
Richard has a talent for the "detective work" it takes to find unusual books and documents.
At one Minneapolis book fair, he was approached by someone who wanted to sell an entire collection, stored in a warehouse. So Richard ended up, for an entire week, in an unheated warehouse in November, going through thousands of books all boxed and stacked on pallets! He purchased almost 500 boxes which included hundreds of 1960's counter culture documents.
When you travel to Northern Wisconsin, be sure to visit and wander the aisles of Chequamegon Book & Coffee Company. Or, if you're looking for a book right now, call or email. You will be amazed at what this resourceful couple can find for you!