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A Treasure Trove of Used & Rare Books Awaits You In Sturgeon Bay
By Steve Allen - Sponsored by Lakeshore Motorsports LLC
Aug 10, 2011 - 9:00:00 AM
A happy customer purchases some treasures: an old postcard and two antique cigar boxes!
"This place is amazing! I wish we had a place like this back home!" was a recent comment by a shopper, overhead by the smiling proprietor of Sturgeon Bay's new used and rare bookstore. Only open a few months now, "Untitled" Used & Rare Books, Maps and Ephemera is in the heart of downtown Sturgeon Bay at 30 N. 3rd Avenue. Don't look for a sign, just look for an old-time phone booth in the window loaded with books of all colors, sizes, and shapes.
Enter into the fascinating world of literature and share the passion for books that made owner Steven Link a collector since he was a kid. The number of books in this store is a bit overwhelming, with some 16,000 on display, but this place feels welcoming and comforting at the same time. As your eyes scan the many shelves, you'll immediately be drawn into to a compelling collection of tomes and such. As you take it all in, Link greets you cheerfully and you're likely to strike up a pleasant conversation about anything under the sun.
Link has books and reading in his blood and caught the collecting bug at the age of 12 or so. He attributes much of this phenomenon to his grandpa, who took him to an antique auction. While the gentleman perused antiques in the pre-sale viewing, Steven was busy rummaging through large trays of old books that were part of the estate of a judge. The boy was immediately captivated by the grandeur of the judge's collection, and decided he would bid on them. He left the scene toting the first installment of what was to become a huge collection that would number about 35,000 volumes by adulthood. Fortunately for rare book aficionados and lovers of used books, that collection forms the inventory of this store.
"Books are my friends", explains Link. "I worked in the high school library, I worked in a large bookstore, and I've always had books as a big part of my life." But for every book he parts with through a sale, he replenishes with two or three more, acquired in much the same way as he did as a young man. "I'm happy to share these old friends with other people, and this way I can have my own business, so it's a win-win", added Link.
In the rear of the store is a semi-private sitting and conversation area, very suitable for a small group. On the drawing board, perhaps starting this coming winter, is a program series. Besides topical discussions, the store could hold spelling bees, poetry readings, or children's story time. Steven Link would like his store to become a sort of community gathering spot for old and new friends to stop in, hang out, share ideas, etc.
Can you find something in "Untitled" that might appeal to you? Probably so. An exploration of this splendid place might take awhile if your interests are diverse, since most topics are represented by a few or a dozen or even hundreds of titles. Soon to be added to the library, thanks to a recent acquisition, are sections for Sci Fi/Fantasy, Children's Books, and mass market paperbacks. Link maintains a computer database of his inventory and can tell you in a flash if a certain title is available.
As for rare books, many of which are protected in fine-looking glass cases that seem as wonderful as the volumes they hold, you have a wide choice. First editions, ornately-bound collections that would grace any bookshelf, and a large array of old-time maps and magazines pull one back in time. Do people really read these things, we queried. "Some do, and some just want to own and display fine literature in their homes", Link responded.
Need an atlas from 1864 or 1901, a magazine or newspaper from the Depression era, a map of Door County from 1912, an expedition report about the Rocky Mountains from 1845, or an autographed copy of Allen Ginsberg's "Reality Sandwiches"? Check with Steven Link. There's also ephemera-type items such as old-time cigar boxes, theater tickers, programs, postcards, and event posters.
This writer has been on the lookout for years for a certain book read in college for a class but long lost in the shuffle of life. Got it now!
"Untitled" Used & Rare Books, Maps and Ephemera
20 N. 3rd Ave Sturgeon Bay Wi 54235
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