Book Cache Memories

Remember when, as these Book Cache Memories take you back to visit one of Anchorage's favorite book stores.

Book Cache Memories

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 browse the shelves, discover a new book for your reading pleasure and say hello to friends.

Book Cache ownersOwners Doris and Russ Riemann

Book Cache Memories

In the Beginning

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.

Where the Book Cache beganJonas Brothers Museum

That small book store inside the museum became more and more popular each year.

The Cache

Then, in the early 1960s, Doris and Russ moved their book store into what would become the best known Book Cache location in town at 436 Fifth Avenue.

What are your memories?

5th Avenue Book Cache interiorBook Cache 5th Avenue

The Original Idea

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 idea didn’t work very well.

The first to go was Cache Dining and Cocktails.


The name was changed to “The Book Cache”.

Sears Mall Book Cache storeBook Cache Sears Mall Location

When Anchorage got its 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 for a book or magazine.

The 1964 Good Friday Earthquake

Earthquake destruction

March 27, 1964

For 5 minutes the earth shook Anchorage and Alaska like never before.

And the Good Friday earthquake took its toll.

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 massive 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 store quickly became a very welcome information hub and meeting place for quake survivors.

Book Cache Stores

As Far Away as Hawaii

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.

Over the Years

What are your Book Cache memories?

Over the years, each location became a great place to meet friends.

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, those wonderful stores will forever have a special place in our hearts.

Thank you for the great Anchorage Memories Russ and Doris Riemann.


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