Local ties keep bookstore afloat during down times
Little Read Book owner grateful for loyal customers
Community connections have kept The Little Read Book alive, despite the jab, right, left hook combination put up by the economy, megastores and e-books.
"It's been down since 2008. That's when we really had a punch to our gut. Of course, everybody did. But we held on," said Burg, who owns the shop at 7603 W. State St.
Some hours got cut. Inventory hasn't been quite as deep. But special orders are always available - and people are ordering.
People like the three West Allis teachers who wanted 25 copies of "My Heart Will Not Sit Down." Or 30 or so Advanced Placement students from Wauwatosa East and Wauwatosa West high schools. Or the elementary school student looking for books about Mohammed Ali.
"It's things like that that are starting to make up for what we lost," Burg said.
And, for her part, Burg is trying to give back.
Schools get 20 percent off and a tax exemption at Little Read Book. Students get 15 percent off. Customers get their "Read" cards stamped to accumulate $10 toward a new purchase. And, recently, Burg joined Small Shops United, a rewards-type program that allows shoppers to accumulate credits at local stores.
"My involvement is community-oriented," Burg said. "It's trying to get people to understand, if they buy on Amazon, perhaps they save a penny or two. But that money disappears, whereas the money spent here goes back to the community.
"The connection to the community is the biggest thing for all of us," she explained. "Everyone is local, and they deal with people who are local. And we like it here.
"We're up to three generations now," Burg said. "We've seen mothers who've got these big bellies. And, all of a sudden, those bellies become babies. And those babies become people. And those people are having their own kids."
The connections keep her going, even if Burg isn't sure how much longer she will run the store.
"I'm 64. I keep saying, 'How long should we do this?' But, the thing is, this has been fun for 26 years. There have been some rough spots, but it's been fun."
If you would like to suggest a business to be featured in the Business Spotlight, send an email to email@example.com or call (262) 446-6643.
JUST THE FACTS
BUSINESS: The Little Read Book
ADDRESS: 7603 W. State St.
PHONE: (414) 774-2665
OWNER: Linda Burg
TYPE OF BUSINESS: bookstore
PEARLS OF WISDOM: "The connection to the community is the biggest thing for all of us."
- Business Spotlight: Tosa Bowl and Bun
- Business Spotlight: For Loriena Harrington, the land kept calling her back
- Colonel Hart's is a bar that will make you feel like family
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: At Legacy Gym, it's not just about abs
- Business Spotlight: The Wauwatosa Historical Society keeps up to date with the past
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Chiropractor found his way by a fortunate accident
- Business Spotlight: On a quest for good brews, they found a World of Beer
- Business Spotlight: Jenny Kyle Smith hits the sweet spot after years of struggle
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Kirchen's Car Sick Art is more art than cars
- Business Spotlight: Wauwatosa-based Irish Fest Center does more than put on a summer festival
- Business Spotlight: Sheeley Service puts the zip in your beverage of choice
- Business Spotlight: Face time is the best time for photographer Stephanie Bartz
- Dog trainer finds it's people who need aid
- Business Spotlight: Russ Drover finds beauty in the original
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: When he left the corporate world, he made new arrangements
- Business Spotlight: For Ruckus & Glee toy store in Wauwatosa, it's all about play
- Block Legal Services opens in Wauwatosa
- Business Spotlight: Guitarist Kirk Tatnall plays — and passes it along
- Business Spotlight: Seeking contact with life, Tom Gill found drumming
- Business Spotlight: Jonathon Leubner heard music calling and followed it