The Madison, Wisc.-based bookstore A Room of One’s Own will be changing hands as of July 1. Current co-owners Sandi Torkildson and Nancy Geary made the announcement on Tuesday, explaining that, with the shift, employees Gretchen Treu and Jes Lukes will become the store’s new owner-managers.
Fantasy novelist Patrick Rothfuss will become a silent partner in the enterprise, while Torkildson and Geary stay on during a transition period in which they will assist Treu and Lukes with the handover of the business.
A Room of One’s Own was founded in 1975 by five women — including Torkildson — as a feminist bookstore, but evolved into a full-service bookstore, first by selling select University of Wisconsin textbooks and other course materials, and then by taking over Avol’s Bookstore, a new and used bookstore. It moved into Avol’s larger space (formerly Canterbury Books) from its previous location in 2011.
In announcing the change of ownership via email to their customers, Torkildson and Geary said: “Gretchen has been with Room for over 11 years, and Jes for six years. Their vision for the future of the bookstore is to continue in the strong legacy of feminist bookselling established 43 years ago.”