Book Cache Memories takes you back to visit one of Anchorage's favorite book stores.
In the winter, it was a nice, warm place to spend a relaxing time browsing the large selection of books, magazines and sundries.
And on a warm summer day, it was a fun place to spend some time, say hello and discover a new book for your reading pleasure.
Russ and Doris Riemann joined a lady named Esther Tout, who was running a small 15-by-25 foot book store in the same building where Jonas Brothers Taxidermy was located on Fifth Avenue.
That small book store inside the museum became more and more popular each year.
Then, in the early 1960s, Doris and Russ moved their book store into what would become the best known Book Cache location at 436 Fifth Avenue.
What are your Book Cache memories at this location?
It didn’t start out as The Book Cache.
The original idea was to have a variety of stores under the name “The Cache”.
Those stores included The Book Cache, The Stamp and Coin Cache, Barb’s Cache and Carry, and Cache Dining and Cocktails.
But the Cache idea didn’t work very well. The first to go was Cache Dining and Cocktails.Eventually
The Cache was changed to “The Book Cache”.
When Anchorage got it’s first mall, the Sears Mall on Northern Lights Boulevard, the Book Cache opened the shop you see in the picture above.
You could walk in the mall, grab a treat at Andy’s Carmel Corn, then have some lunch or a cup of coffee before stopping in The Book Cache for a book or magazine.
For 5 minutes the earth shook Anchorage and Alaska like never before.
And the Good Friday earthquake took it’s toll on The Book Cache. Anchorage’s favorite Book Cache location was right next to the J.C. Penney building (it’s badly damaged structure is seen above).
By the way, Mary of Anchorage Memories was 12 years old and was in J.C. Penney when the quake struck. She went out the side door where those huge blocks of concrete were crashing to the sidewalk.
The Book Cache was severely damaged by the quake, but somehow, Russ and Doris were among the first to get their store open again… The Fifth Avenue Book Cache quickly became a very welcome information hub and meeting place for quake survivors.
In the late 1980s, Russ and Doris Riemann sold The Book Cache.
At that time, they had grown to 17 stores across Alaska. And believe it or not, 2 of those were located in Maui, Hawaii.
What are your Book Cache memories?
Over the years, the Book Cache locations became gathering places.
You could spend a lot of happy time just browsing through shelves of wonderful books, magazines, newspapers and local information.
The Book Cache may be gone, but for those of us who grew up, or lived in Anchorage when it was around, The Book Cache will forever have a very special place in our hearts.
Thank you for the great Anchorage Memories Russ and Doris Riemann.
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