Local bookstore withstands COVID

Chapter+2+Books%2C+located+on+3rd+Street+in+Winona%2C+is+a+local+used+bookstore%2C+selling+everything+from+Shakespeare+to+Stephanie+Meyer.+They+buy%2C+sell+and+trade+books%2C+magazines%2C+comics%2C++CDs%2C+vinyl+records+and+much+more.

Shannon Galliart

Chapter 2 Books, located on 3rd Street in Winona, is a local used bookstore, selling everything from Shakespeare to Stephanie Meyer. They buy, sell and trade books, magazines, comics, CDs, vinyl records and much more.

Gabriel Hathaway, Features Reporter

Local business, Chapter 2 Books on West 3rd Street, is nearing its 8-year anniversary later this month, which was a great surprise to owner Daryl Lanz.

“I’ve had lots of jobs over the years, and I’ve never had one that lasted eight years,” Lanz said.

Before opening Chapter 2 Books, Lanz spent 10 years working retail in the record business through the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. After working retail, Lanz switched careers to be a high school English teacher for the next 15 years. Despite this, Lanz said he was still infatuated with the idea of opening a store.

“I always loved used bookstores and always had a kind of dream that I wanted to [open a store] ,” Lanz said. “I always loved books, especially used books.”

After a year and a half of collecting books from garage sales, state sales and library sales, Lanz finally opened the store in late October 2012 with 5,000 books in stock.

These days, Chapter 2 Books carries around 20,000 used books, records, CDs, comic books and collectibles. The store also offers curbside pickup, online orders and the purchasing of customer books for cash.

This local business, like many others, took a hit when lockdowns began due to COVID-19. According to Lanz, Chapter 2 Books was closed for seven weeks, but with online sales and a few deliveries, he was able to keep the store open.

“In a way it was okay, because it was the first time since I opened eight years ago that I had more than two days off,” Lanz said.

During the lockdown, Chapter 2 Books’ sales were half of what they usually were, according to Lanz.

On top of this, due to COVID, his store was down 14 percent overall from last summer. Lanz believes the loss of sales this year was exacerbated because the lack of tourism which would usually benefit his store.

Lanz posits that most of his regular business comes from tourists and local regulars.

Winona State University sophomore Savannah Egger said that Chapter 2 Books was one of her favorite stores in town. Egger said that as an elementary education major, she often purchases children’s books for her future classroom. She

realizes that she may be in the minority for students who use that bookstore.

“I don’t see many other students at Chapter 2 Books, but definitely encourage people to check it out,” Egger said.   

Despite the setback Chapter 2 Books took with COVID, Lanz said the future is looking bright.

“I’m actually in the process of getting a new website developed, so that is going to probably be a month down the road.”  Lanz said. “I am real excited about that.”