Embark on a new adventure inside the pages of a Dotters book

Recently opened neighborhood bookstore Dotters Books celebrates its brick and mortar with grand opening

More stories from Alanna Huggett

Pura Vida
May 15, 2019

Photo by Gabbie Henn

The Eau Claire community flipped through the variety of books while coffee and waffles were served on the side.

Customers walking into Dotters Books Saturday were greeted with the smell of coffee brewing, an abundance of book titles and gentle background music. Book lovers young and old eagerly browsed the expansive selection at Dotters Books.

Although it’s been open for a little over two weeks now, Dotters Books celebrated its transition from online-only to brick and mortar Saturday.

For co-owners Margaret Leonard and Jill Heinke Moen, opening a bookstore has been an exciting process. Leonard and Heinke Moen said some of the best parts of being owners of Dotters Books include the support they’ve received from neighbors and the chance to create a welcoming environment for bookies of all kinds.

“Stocking books you really love — when you put them on the shelf and you know that  somebody’s going to find it and maybe they’ll love it as much as you do,” Leonard said.

The inspiration for the name of the store, Dotters Books, pays homage to the Scandinavian roots of the Eau Claire area, as ‘dotters’ is the Swedish word for ‘daughters.’

“We were seeing a lot of businesses are (named) Smith and Sons or whatever and we were like why are there no daughters?” Leonard said. “And then that kind of clicked for us.”

Heinke Moen said it is significant for them because they are all daughters and they, too, have daughters.

At the grand opening celebration, Dotters Books had BJ Hollars and Jake Lindgren host story time for a group of children. Shift Cyclery & Coffee Bar was also there, serving up coffee and waffles to hungry book-browsers. There was live music in the evening as well, making it an activity-packed day for avid readers and community members to celebrate the opening of Dotters Books.

“I think it’s a beautiful, spacious and bright and filled with lots of laughter and love and lots of fun,” Rhonda Michalski, Leonard’s mother, said.

Dotters Books offers a wide-ranging collection of literature — from the old to the new, for the young and the old. They also feature local authors and books about local history. One such featured author is Nick Butler.

Story time is one of the ongoing events organized by the bookstore. It’s also one of the owners’ favorite aspects of their business. Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m., Dotters Books invites children to listen to tales read by special guests. To sweeten the deal, donuts will be served during every story time.

“It really has been special to see kids come for storytime,” Leonard said. “That has been really great that people from the neighborhood and people from all over the city (come to storytime at Dotters).”

Dotters Books is happy and willing to order books for readers who don’t see what they’re looking for on the shelves, said Heinke Moen. She said the store is also always eager for recommendations and suggestions.  

Heinke Moen and Leonard said they have big plans for the future of Dotters Books.They plan to have picnic tables outside for people to relax at while reading a new book. Dotters Books is also looking to add bike racks. Regarding long-term changes, Heinke Moen said they’re looking to finish the basement and host book clubs.

Dotters books, located at 1602 Hogeboom Avenue, is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.  

Huggett can be reached at [email protected]