Bob’s Bookstore hosts events for community

Abbey Whittington, Staff Reporter

Bob’s Bookstore has its doors open to the public for an open mic night at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in the town square on Monroe Avenue.

Joe Judd, owner of the shop, said that the open mic begin at 7 p.m., however, there is not a set time for the show to end.

Before Judd took over open mic he had two employees who ran the show and it was initially on Friday nights instead of on Wednesdays.

The two employees took the show over to Common Grounds, a bakery and deli in Mattoon. After someone in the community reached out to Judd asking to have open mic nights again he decided to put the show back in the store on Wednesdays.

To prepare for the event, the employees arrange the tables to get themselves ready for the performers.

“Generally towards the end of the night people kind of just sit and jam together,” Judd said. “It’s more about utilizing the space here.”

The used bookstore opened last year in April and the open mic event started in the summer. The shop has also hosted other events such as poetry readings, a reenactment of a murder in Charleston, and concerts with local bands and singers.

The reenactment of the Ellington-Monroe murder was in January and was planned by Marita Metzke, project coordinator for the Academy of Lifelong Learning and Dick Hummel, the vice president of the Five Mile House Foundation. The bookstore was the sight of this historical murder.

The poetry readings are not a weekly event at the store, but Judd has incorporated the poets’ readings into the weekly open mic nights before.

“We were trying to do the poetry readings on Tuesdays, but we are looking for someone to run it,” Judd said. “I was hoping to find a student or grad student that would be interested in running it.”

Judd said if this event became weekly it could consist of a featured poet reading pieces of his or her work, or the readings of a famous poet.

Last week for open mic there was an A cappella singer and a ukulele player, along with other musicians who were in and out of the shop.

“This open mic doesn’t have any rules. I know some places don’t let people swear, or they want to keep it G-rated,” Judd said. “The only rule we really have is no nakedness. Other than that you can do everything from baton twirling to fire walking and juggling.”

The store has free Wi-Fi, coffee and thousands of books categorized throughout the store.

Bob’s Bookstore is open from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. and the open mic event is free to the public.


Abbey Whittington can be reached at 591-2812 or [email protected]