Even in the digital age, a Galesburg store is enjoying success in the old fashioned business of selling books.
Stone Alley Books has outgrown its building on Seminary Street and is preparing to move to a new location several blocks away on East Main Street.
The store is owned by Ben Stomberg, a native of Galesburg who moved back to his hometown around five years ago after working in radio all over central Illinois for the previous decade.
Stomberg said that around the same time he moved back, the Waldenbooks in Galesburg was closing. He felt that put him in the “right place at the right time” for opening an independent book store.
The self-described comic book and book lover relied on a personal touch at the start.
“A big part of the inventory when we first began was my collection,” Stomberg said.
“Especially the comics. We put my comic collection, my record collection out. And then we took my books as well, but we added so many more books.”
At its new location, Stone Alley Books will share a building with the game store For the Win.
Stomberg said the pairing of a comic book store and a gaming store is a natural fit.
“(You) run across very few comic book shops that don’t sell gaming, and very few gaming shops that don’t sell comics anymore,” Stomberg said.
Stone Alley Books will close on Christmas Eve, and open a couple weeks later at the new location.
Stomberg credited the community for the success of his store the past five years. He said it was especially popular with Knox College students in its early days.