Nestled between First and Main is a little slice of heaven we know as Books on Broadway. Since 1993, this little book shop has sold first communion bibles and local history books as well as an assortment of the most popular titles and authors from around the world. Even further into this little wonderland is a small antique pharmacy style coffee bar and shop, and a lovely barista named Sara. It features an old soda fountain bar from Fortuna complete with wooden booths and stained glass window shades. Chuck Wilder purchased it after retiring from the State’s Attorney's office in 1998. He serves Allegro organic coffee, and it’s some of the best in town. This is a place to take grandma after morning church study or somewhere to get the kids hot chocolate after swim lessons.
Chuck chose to put the coffee shop in the back because it’s important to him not to put his customers on display. He wished to give readers and coffee drinkers a place to sit quietly and expand their minds. It’s not all peace and quiet in this book store, though. America seems to be losing its ability to agree to disagree and debate ideas like beings above animals, a time honored tradition of American politics. To help bring back this tradition, Chuck has welcomed and continues to welcome authors of all walks of life and political opinions to come present their ideas and debate with readers while sipping coffee or tea like the founding fathers of our great nation. The exchange of ideas and facts is, after all, what a bookstore is for.
Books on Broadway’s owner, Chuck, began his education as a horticulture major. As a boy, his grandmother would take him west of town and show him the native Crocuses and Globemallow plants that grow wild on the virgin prairie. From an early age, Chuck loved plants and he is an active member of the Eastern Montana chapter of the Montana Native Plants Society. He and local Doug Smith have traveled to Canada to see the ancient Native American stone effigies and visited the well preserved buffalo jumps as well as the conservation efforts to preserve virgin prairies there. He hopes, in the future, more efforts can be made to preserve the millennia old buffalo jumps and ancient prairies here in North Dakota.
Chuck is very excited to celebrate his 30 years in the bookstore with events happening every month leading up to this historic milestone for him and us here in Williston. From book signings to Norwegian cooking demonstrations, he is looking forward to sharing the happiness he experiences welcoming new people and new ideas. Along with his right hand wo(man), Kyla Schweikert, Chuck wants to have a big 30th celebration at Books on Broadway with a dinner, music and games. The summer months are, of course, the best times to plan big parties with BBQ’s, ice cream, pools and sunshine and Chuck wants to start planning early. He’s taking ideas and volunteers now not only for his big summer party but the monthly events, too, so come down to Books on Broadway, have some coffee and chat awhile.