Books On Broadway To Celebrate 30th Anniversary Nov. 7

Books On Broadway, the delightful bookstore at 12 ½ W. Broadway, Williston, was started 30 years ago by Robin and Williston native Chuck Wilder. Robin was the force behind the store from its beginnings in 1993 until her passing from cancer in 2000.

She moved to Williston when she married her best friend and husband, Chuck, after a lengthy career with Bell Systems. Robin and Chuck began the process of opening up their bookstore. It took lots of time and sweat. They were fascinated by the book buying process and actually got "A Cup of Christmas Tea" as one of the first books because it was highly recommended. They sold about 100 copies of that book that year! Another item that sold well that year were Farside Calendars! They sold about 100 of those as well. The store opened the fall of 1993 and was embraced by the community, which found Robin to be a delightful and knowledgeable source for books and gifts.

The Wilders shared love of antiques meant many happy hours finding treasures and then decorating the store with them. They found the coffee bar's gorgeous back bar at an auction in Fortuna with the intention of opening a coffee bar. Unfortunately, that didn't happen until five years after Robin's passing but it now boasts the best beans in Williston.

Many memories have been shared during the past few months of this anniversary year. By all accounts, Robin was a wonderfully nice, considerate person who loved meeting the community and making friends. Robin would help customers discover new books and authors. When Beanie Babies were the craze, Robin would sneak them up from downstairs when they were requested by people to avoid a rush of people trying to buy the last one. Robin would hide little elves/figurines around the store and the house, some of which the staff are still finding. They also find things that are for sale in random areas where the staff didn't place them! Robin's spirit is in the store.

Robin had started reading to her friend's students at St. Joseph's in 1996, and that has expanded to include all the elementary schools in Williston with the occasional addition of Ray, Tioga and Alexander and sometimes daycare kids during the Christmas season. Local school children are invited in for a story and a treat. Today this amounts to approximately 500 children.

After her diagnosis, the community rallied around the couple, helping with everything from yard work to volunteering at the store and always encouraging Robin to get well and come back to the store she loved.

Since 2000, Books On Broadway has been in the capable hands of Chuck Wilder. Following Robin's dream, and feeling that Robin's spirit is still in the store, he has not only maintained, but also added to the store's offerings and atmosphere. He and his capable staff are always happy to help a customer find the perfect book or gift.

In addition to thousands of books covering every taste, shoppers can find unique gifts, such as music supplies, rocks and crystals and antiquarian books and the infamous Woolworth Table! And don't forget the coffee or a steaming mug of hot chocolate!

Please check out next week's Roundup for all the details of the 30th Anniversary celebration of Books On Broadway. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram (@booksonbroadwaywilliston) or visit their website at for more information.


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