Edit ModuleShow Tags

Duluth Indie Bookstore Celebrates Opening

Zenith Bookstore opens in the face of Amazon and free two-day shipping—because this Duluth retired couple knows that people love shopping small


Courtesy of Charlie Smith (@arrowhead_shores)

When some people retire, all they want to do is sit back and let others do the work. But for retired math professor Bob Dobrow and environmentalist Angel Dobrow, retirement was the perfect launching point for a new course of action: opening an independent used bookstore in Duluth. Granted, with Amazon on the rise, an indie bookstore such as the Dobrows’ Zenith Bookstore might sound more burdensome than invigorating for a retired couple. But as they adjust to a new chapter in life, so does the world of reading.

Despite the competition of online shopping and free two-day shipping, Bob sounds optimistic. “People want the real thing. There’s a coming-back, an uptick in brick-and-mortar bookstores,” he says. It’s true: In 2016, the number of indie bookstores nationwide actually increased for the eighth year in a row, according to the American Booksellers Association. Bob attributes this to readers wanting that in-person shelf-browsing experience that large retailers can’t provide. “People want a place where they can come in and people know their names,” he says.

At Zenith, visitors are greeted at the door with the store’s signature storefront mural, a stack of books painted larger-than-life by a Duluth artist. Built in the 1890s, the building still has its original rustic hardwood floor, with a high tin ceiling, warm lighting, comfortable reading chairs, and the lingering smell of pine bookshelves. When designing the space, Bob and Angel remained conscious of the residential location of their store and strived for a comfortable, inviting atmosphere. “People don’t want their communities to look like one giant Wal-Mart strip mall,” Bob notes.

The bookstore hosts an opening celebration this Saturday, September 16, from 1 to 4 p.m. Guests include local headlining authors Lorna Landvik, Brian Freeman, Linda LeGarde Grover, and Barton Sutter, with live music by Duluth-based folk singer/songwriter Teague Alexy. In the next few months, Zenith will host several more local authors, including Louis Jenkins and Chris Monroe, plus book club meetings.

Zenith Bookstore
318 N. Central Ave., Duluth

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

InterContinental Hotel Opens at MSP Airport

New lodging, restaurants, spa, gym, and skyway update the MSP Airport experience

Plan a Trip to Roanoke, Virginia

This East Coast visit comes with history, a burgeoning craft beer scene, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Appalachian Trail, and more

Cannon Falls Wine & Art Fest

Taste Minnesota wines and ciders, browse through local art vendors, and eat delicious food at Cannon Falls Wine & Art Fest, July 21-22

Day Trip to Taylors Falls

A Taylors Falls day trip made up of beautiful river views and a classic malt shop.

Record Store on Wheels

Like a food truck, but for music—and debuting this Sunday at Open Streets Minneapolis

Green Thumb Gardens

The 2018 Hennepin County Master Gardener Learning Garden Tour flaunts its foliage July 14

Best Caves of Minnesota

Explore Minnesota’s man-made and natural curiosities this summer

Amble Over to Afton

While you’re in Afton for Selma’s, stay a while and check out the state parks, historic buildings, quaint downtown, and more

Take a Trip for (Frozen) Treats

Grab a scoop from the state’s oldest ice cream shop in Afton: Selma’s Ice Cream Parlour

Journeys: A Minnesotan’s Happy Place

Time wasted at the lake is time well spent

Journeys: The Start of Adventure

To prep for wilderness canoe trips, Les Voyageurs brings campers out on the Mississippi River

Top 5 Instagram Spots Along the Mississippi River

Bluffs, hiking trails, and waterfalls make for beautiful summer photos

Summer Sunburn Solutions

Six ways to beat the burn

Brews and Views at the Hopped Up Caribou Festival

There's no better place to tie the knot than at a craft beer festival, and if you're not into that, you can cliff climb, too
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags