Gallery Bookstore has been a quiet-but-consistent resource for used books in Bay View since 1983. After 35 years in business, the secluded neighborhood book shop’s story is about to come to an end. The store—tucked in a small and unassuming storefront at 2124 E. Rusk Avenue—is currently liquidating its stock, with plans to close for good “by the end of May or early June,” according to ownership.

Original Gallery Bookstore owner Frank Mente died in 2015. He left the shop to a longtime local book retailer named Anne Wilde, a family friend who carried on his legacy by re-opening the store in the fall of that same year. With a full-time job occupying much of Wilde’s time and energy, Gallery Bookstore’s hours were limited to Saturday afternoons from “12:30ish” to 4. Those Saturday afternoons are now numbered. Knowing the store required more upkeep and attention than she could possibly offer between work and health issues, Wilde is trying to sell Gallery’s remaining collection before closing the longtime neighborhood bookstore once and for all within the next month.

All paperback books in the eclectic library have been marked down to $1. Hardcover books are $2. There are also a few records, some posters, and other random bits of history available for purchase. Wilde told us she also plans to have a “bag sale” before the store closes. If you’ve always wondered about the mysterious South Shore shop with the wooden “BOOKS” sign or if you just want to come by and pay your last respects to a character-laden Bay View institution and take home an artifact, next Saturday might be your last chance.

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.