A Room of One’s Own: Bookstore opens a new chapter

MADISON, Wis. — After months of planning, the Atwood neighborhood has officially given local book-enthusiasts a space of their own.

Today, A Room of One’s Own opened the doors of its new location at 2717 Atwood Ave. The store moved to online sales during the pandemic and had to leave the downtown area following proposed redevelopment in its former Gorham St. location. But according to co-owner Gretchen Treu, the store’s dedicated customer base hasn’t minded the dust.

Between a very loyal audience and a greater amount of outreach, and finding our voice a little bit more over the last year its been great,” said Treu.

While the physical environment of the store has changed, Treu says the inclusive atmosphere remains a priority. The store, which originally opened in 1975, has long been driven by a mission of feminism, which has grown to include different groups of people over the past several years.

“We’ve tried to really reinvigorate that root and become much more intersectional,” said Treu.

Volunteer Tomissa Freisleben says its this mission, among other things, that attracted her to the store.

“I’m a mom of a small kiddo,” said Freisleben. “Having him be a bookstore kid here at A Room of One’s Own is just like this great like warm feeling.”

The store is now open daily, from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., and employees are planning for this year’s holiday catalog. Treu says that with the support of the Atwood community and book-lovers across the area, A Room of One’s Own is ready to turn the page to a new chapter.

This whole neighborhood feels like such a perfect fit for us,” they said. “We’re very excited and happy and lucky to be here.”