As I walked down Wall St. towards Minnesota in downtown Bend, I was sad to think that The Book Barn wouldn’t be there when I turned the corner. Imagine my surprise when I looked up and saw Dudley’s Bookshop and Cafe in exactly the same location. I practically skipped over. The Bend/Redmond area has four bookstores (lucky them!) and a big box, but Dudley’s is the only store dedicated to selling used books. Now the community has a place to recycle the fabulous books they purchased at the other stores. There is a selection of all types of genres, so whatever you’re looking for check in and whatever you’re trading in, there is a place for your book at Dudley’s.
Teri, the owner, changed the configuration of the store from the Book Barn days. Rather than the shelves standing flush against the wall, they’re perpendicular, giving her room to add a cute little cafe corner in the back. I visited The Book Barn several times and never knew there was a second floor. Dudley’s opened up the top floor and it is a huge lounging and event space. The comfy couches and rocking chairs are perfect for spending the day reading with other bibliophiles.
In just a short time, Dudley’s is as much a community center as a used bookstore. The white board event calendar on the back wall is packed. In addition to author appearances, there are weekly groups (employment transition, Spanish and knitting) along with monthly book groups and jam sessions. The Celtic band plays regularly along with other local musicians. The pictures on the website testify to a full blues and folk band that had the audience up and dancing.
When I talked to Teri, she said “I have a terrific landlord!” Something I’ve never heard a bookseller mention, in fact it’s usually the opposite. When she was looking for a place to open a used bookstore, the landlord offered her rent at less than half the cost of the other locations. When the economy hit the skids, he voluntarily reduced the rent by 10% and said Teri could call him if she had any questions. Her response, a million thank yous. That’s a landlord that’s committed to the community and providing a place for them to gather and exchange ideas. Which is exactly what Teri does.
135 NW Minnesota Ave.
Bend, OR 97701