To share our passion and knowledge of books and build community through great reads, good company, and engaging conversations for all ages. We are committed to providing exceptional customer service through which our devotion to independence, inclusion, and diversity can be felt by all.
Our history dates back to 1875 when our great-great grandfather opened W. W. Wickel Pharmacy in Naperville, IL. Naperville was a small farming town at that time, and our great-great grandfather and his son-in-law Louis Oswald sold books, gifts, and toys in the store. In 1964 our grandfather opened our first official bookstore above the drugstore, calling it Paperback Paradise. Since then we have expanded and moved several times, opening our Downers Grove store in 1980 and a children’s wholesale warehouse bookfair company, Anderson’s Bookfair Company (ABCFairs), in 1982, now located in Aurora. In 2016 Anderson’s Toyshop in Naperville was born.
The 5th generation that own and run the businesses today all started to work at a very young age at our family’s drugstore. Working alongside with your grandfather, parents, brothers, sister, and children is a family tradition that creates community within your family, and reaches your employees, your customers, and beyond. We are proud to have the sixth generation now working in the businesses. For 143 years we have lived and breathed this community; we are here to stay, thrive, and help make it a great place for all with whom we come in contact.
Today at Anderson's
Even as we face a changing world of e-books and online sales we continue to thrive. We credit this mostly to our staff, who are known for their expertise of literature and their ability to help customers find just the right books. We also offer a winning combination of unique gift and toy products that our customers can find nowhere else. In addition to the products in our store, Anderson’s bookshops runs hundreds of author signing events a year, including a wide variety of celebrity, best selling, debut, and local authors. We also offer a range of programs, including in-house book groups for all ages, and two annual literature conferences. Our ABC Bookfair division has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support local schools over the years and we are proud to consider ourselves and our entire company a true community partner.
Awards & Recognition for Anderson's Bookshops
2001 Retail Business of the Year - Naperville Chamber of Commerce
2002 Illinois Family Business of the Year Loyola University Family Business Center
2002 Exemplary Partnership Award - Illinois State Board of Education
2002 Business and Education District 204
2002 Lucille Pannell Award - Best Children’s Bookseller (General store) for the best bookseller of children’s books in the nation
2002 Charles S. Haslam Award for Excellence in Bookselling - Becky Anderson Wilkins
2003 Business and Education Award Naperville Dist. 203
2005 Outstanding Alumni Award Naperville Central H.S. - Becky Anderson Wilkins
2006 New York State Reading Association Excellence Award
2006 Illinois State Board of Education’s Award of Excellence for community volunteerism - Becky Anderson Wilkins
2007 James Patterson Page Turner Award: buyer Mary Yockey
2007 Chicago Tribune Chicago’s 10 Best Bookstores
2007 Naperville Family History Recognition - Naper-Days Naperville Heritage Society
2008 The Education Center Community Partner Award - Becky Anderson Wilkins
2008 Building a Passion for Reading Award- Naperville School Dist. 203 - Becky Anderson Wilkins
2009 Voice of the Heartland Award from the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association: recognizing "a person or company in the book industry for a lifetime contribution to regional books," to Becky Anderson Wilkins, Anderson's Bookshops, Naperville and Downers Grove.
2010 Retail Business of the Year - Naperville Chamber of Commerce
2010 Small Business of the Year - Naperville Chamber of Commerce
2011 Publisher's Weekly Bookstore of the Year
2015 Lucille Pannell Award - Best Children’s Bookseller (General store) for the best bookseller of children’s books in the nation
2019 Mental Floss' Best Bookstore in Illinois