Paperback passion for couple in Algonquin

ALGONQUIN – Hollie and Eric Lindgren are hoping nostalgia in an era of tablets and e-readers can turn their recently opened used bookstore into a popular commodity for residents around Algonquin.

The couple believes their passion for a classic paperback can rub off in area starved for a physical and affordable book store, since grander retailers like the Algonquin Borders closed in 2011.

"People keep telling me that books are becoming obsolete, that Kindles are taking over," Hollie Lindgren said. "But I still believe that there are a lot of people who still want to hold a book."

Consumers are increasingly turning to the Amazon Kindle or Barnes and Noble's Nook for their reading pleasure, even accessing e-books from cell phones and tablets. For the first nine months of 2012, U.S. bookstore sales were down 1.6 percent to $11.64 billion from 2011, federal statistics show.

But the downward trend hasn't deterred Hollie and Eric Lindgren, who share a love for reading.

The former Kane County Board member and her husband opened Books of Southwind, 4069 W. Algonquin Road, in early November. Located near District 158's Square Barn Road Campus, the store offers more than 35,000 used books, from romance to mystery to biographies.

Borrowing the name from their Huntley subdivision, the Books of Southwind offers used books at reasonable prices, Eric Lindgren said. Aside from the classics, used books typically carry a maximum $4 price tag.

The store also offers children's books for 50 cents. Movies and books on tape also are available. If residents open an account at Books of Southwind, they'll receive a 25 percent discount on used books.

The couple's passion for reading has motivated them to make their mark in the local book retail business. They formerly owned and operated Forever Books in McHenry for the last four years before closing in late September to prepare for the move to Algonquin.

Looking for a more manageable space, the couple has turned a 1,300-square-foot building into orderly shelves, plainly laying out hardcovers, paperbacks, fiction and non-fiction stories.

With any new business, the Lindgrens are still trying to find their footing in the new location. The two were transporting shelves and boxed books for the past few months to prepare for their November opening.

That hasn't given them much time to get the Books of Southwind name out to the general public. But the two are planning to advertise with local media, Dex or the Yellow Pages and possibly host book signings that feature local authors.

"You don't see a lot of used bookstores," Hollie Lindgren said. "This was the business I thought people would be really looking for – used books."

Books of Southwind:

Where: 4069 W. Algonquin Road, Algonquin

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Information: Call 847-802-4601, or visit

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