332 E. Pioneer Ave., #1, Homer, AK 99603
Phone: (907) 235-7496
Hours: Monday - Saturday 11 - 6 - Closed Sundays
The origin of The Homer Bookstore can be traced back to its sparse beginning when Woody Suttles stocked two circular book racks that stood inside the former Quiet Sports on Pioneer Avenue in a building (no longer there) which stood behind the octagon building currently housing The Classic Cook store. Woody, after serving in the Peace Corps, opened Homer's "official" bookstore in 1974 with partners Splinter and Kathy Smith (who started out in the book-selling world managing Book Cache stores in Anchorage and Hawaii during the 60s) in a small building (also no longer there) on Pioneer Avenue, east of Alice's Champagne Palace (then known as The Club Bar). Kathy and Splinter bought Woody's share after being in business together for about two years, and became the owners of what was then officially called - The Bookstore.
As progress always brings change, The Bookstore's location moved to a building (also no longer there) on Pioneer Avenue just west of Bartlett Street (that straddled Woodard Creek) known as the Bay Art center. From there the store moved to one of the small cabins (currently still there) just south of the Homer Electrical Association building on Lake Street. Joy Post started working part-time at The Bookstore in 1976 and in 1978 the store moved across the street into the newly constructed Lakeside Mall. In 1978, the ownership of The Bookstore switched hands when Joy, along with her son, Lee Post, an Anchorage bicycle mechanic, purchased the business from Kathy and Splinter Smith. This fulfilled a longtime goal for Joy of owning a bookstore in Homer. During the following ten years, the Bookstore continued its growth and underwent two expansions within the Lakeside Mall. In 1989, Joy and Lee moved The Bookstore to the Eagle Center (a strip-mall on the By-Pass, which is now Safeway). The move occurred as the Exon oil spill was happening.
In the meantime, Sue Post (who was born in Anchorage two weeks before the 1964 earthquake) graduated from high school and college. While attending the University of Alaska, Anchorage (at which time no disasters happened), Sue worked at a Book Cache store (are we seeing a pattern here?) where she met Jenny Stroyeck, a fellow alumna of UAA. Jenny and Sue became fast friends as well as Book Cache store managers. In 1994, Sue and Jenny were invited to become partners in The Bookstore and moved to Homer when Lee took leave to become the Pratt Museum facilitator for the Sperm Whale Project at the Homer High School. Sue and Jenny brought the computer age to The Bookstore - which was still using a wooden box for a cash register and index cards for the inventory. Shortly thereafter, The Bookstore was incorporated as The Homer Bookstore.
The summer of 2001 brought even bigger and better changes for The Homer Bookstore when the owners made the decision to buy their own building and purchased its current home at 332 E. Pioneer Avenue (formally known as Millie's Video). After the bookstore crew and numerous others spent a summer remodeling their new building, The Homer Bookstore moved into its new digs on September 4, 2001, a week before 9/11 happened. (I don't know about you, but I'm definitely seeing another pattern here.)