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Bookworm set to start new chapter: Downtown bookstore to close this weekend

Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette Arthur Lampinen, owner of the Bookworm in downtown Houghton, stands amidst the stores many new and used books. The store is set to close this weekend after 17 years. 

HOUGHTON — The sign on the front door says it all.

It reads, “We would like to thank everyone who has supported us for the past 17 years. It has been a joy serving and getting to know all our wonderful customers …you will be missed.”

The Bookworm, which is located at 815 Shelden Avenue, is closing this weekend.

For 17 years, it has been a destination spot for new books, used books, coffee, locally-made items and most importantly friendship and camaraderie.

Due to their building being sold, the bookstore/coffee shop is moving to De Smet, South Dakota later this month.

“We looked for property here in the downtown area (of Houghton), but we just couldn’t find anything,” said owner Arthur Lampinen. It’s unfortunate, but the good part is that we will get to stay open.”

He added that the South Dakota location is near his wife’s side of the family.

Lampinen and his sister first opened the Bookworm in the Huron Centre near the Houghton Dairy Queen in 2004.

“We’ve always had a passion for books,” he said. “We moved to our current location in 2010 and we were able to expand into a full coffee shop as well as offering gift items and even ice cream as the years have gone by.”

When asked whether he thought the business would still be going close to two decades later, Lampinen, a native of Laminga, said he never really thought about it.

“We’ve just taken it day-to-day and kept expanding,” he explained. “What has been the key is our loyal customer base. The community has really supported us, and I have loved every minute of it.”

He added that customers have included families that come in, college students as well as elderly folks who just want a cup of coffee.

“We have our regulars – some for the books others for the ice cream and still others for our coffees,” he added.

While the COVID-19 pandemic did affect their business, it is not the reason for the move. In fact they had a busy summer with lot of tourism in town.

Lampinen noted that the past month has been a bitter-sweet moment.

“We are sad about leaving, but excited about a new opportunity and a new chapter,” he said.

The Bookworm customers have weighed in as well, and the consensus is that the store’s departure will be a big loss for the community.

“A lot of customers have said that Houghton is losing a great business.” Lampinen noted.

The store’s last day of business will be Saturday, April 10, with storewide sales going on until then.

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