We Love Wisconsin

The beginnings of The Little Read Book in Tosa

Linda Burg is an open book, pun intended. She is the owner of The Little Read Book in Wauwatosa. Her affection for the written word developed from her parents love of reading, especially her mom. 
"She was reading a book everyday when I came home from school," explained Burg. 

She related to her mom's eclectic style, as an artist and a poet. Her dad's style was the exact opposite. 

"My dad was a Wall Street Journal, no pictures, paper man. He was very logical."

Her mom died in the late 70's and left Burg some money. So, she put her thinking cap on and tried to figure out the best way to invest the money. 

"I thought about what else I could do, and I remembered the coffee shops from New England, where I grew up," Burg said.    

But at the time, selling coffee was not profitable, so she brainstormed with a friend.

"I thought about it really, really hard. I came back and said, wait a minute, I could sell books and give people coffee...now that's an idea." 

So, that's what she did. Burg took the money from her mom's will and opened The Little Read Book. She hasn't looked back.   

Burg also added in unique items that people could buy at her store besides books and that got folks talking. 

"I imported candies and cookies and I put it on the shelves right next to the cookbooks. That seemed logical to me. My little sister had a little farm in New Hampshire and she raised llamas and she found out that llama manure is good for flowers and vegetables. So she packaged it. Next to gardening, I had llama poop," explained Burg.

And people bought it!

Burg says that there were other booksellers that didn't consider her a legitimate book seller because she sold other items in her store. As we all know now, her concept was before her time, and now she's more than content with the little book universe that she's created around her. 

"I've never wanted to expand, I've never wanted to move, and I've never wanted to have two stores."

Burg now looks to the future and sees retirement at some point.    
"Anyway, that's how The Little Read Book got started," explained Burg. 

The Little Read Book is located at 7603 W. State Street in Wauwatosa. 

News Headlines