MACGREGOR, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- This week KCRG-TV9 is featuring the Mississippi River communities of Marquette, McGregor, and Prairie du Chien together as Our Towns.
Rivertown Fine Books in McGregor, Iowa. (KCRG-TV9)
Anyone who appreciates books should absolutely fall in love with one shop in Our Town McGregor -- Rivertown Fine Books.
"A book store like ours probably couldn't be here before the internet. We'd have to be in Boston or somewhere." owner John Malcomb said.
But instead of Boston or some other large city, Rivertown Fine Books sits in the heart of Our Town McGregor.
It's a small town, but owner John Malcomb says his shop's market extends far beyond the city limits.
"We mail books all over the world, so the market is the world, you know. That's what the Internet has done."
Malcomb credits the Internet for teaching people that books have value, although they might not know which ones or why..
"It used to be you could go to a farm auction. There'd be a hayrack piled high with books. You couldn't get two dollars for all of them. And now, it's less likely the books get thrown away or destroyed. More likely they're going to get purchased by somebody, even cheap. Just betting on the ones that have value. So that's all good."
Malcomb says his passion for books started as soon as he learned how to read. And it continued into his adult life when he began traveling as a corporate pilot.
"Wherever we went in the country, I could take the rental car for a couple hours or a couple days or, in a few instances, a couple weeks, and I'd find every rare bookstore within range, and I'd pay attention. I'd buy and sell and talk and ask for 25 years."
That helped him learn. And today he loves it when people come in asking for specific books that they read years ago and can't find anywhere.
"Everybody who reads has favorite books. And lots of them are from some years ago and can't be found any more in the new book stores. And I hear that all the time. And a significant part of the time we either have or we can find what they're looking for."