The kind of bookstore every college town needs


217-345-2627 | Charleston, IL

Bob's Bookstore - Bookseller | Retail | Charleston, IL

“The American Story”

Series Shows Life of Early Coles County Settlers



Don't get caught in the same routine, come see us in our easy-to-find location in the square, just south of the University.


Expand your social calendar, and come join us for our next event. Wi-Fi is available.

After 20 years of running the largest bookstore in Chicago, Joe's come to bring a little of the city to Charleston. Come in for a book, but stay in the warm, social atmosphere and the packed event calendar.


If you're looking for a way to spend your time, you're always welcome down at Bob's Bookstore. With new events scheduled every month, you'll always find something to do for the night here.

Join us for a reading

Enjoy a taste of city life in a small town

Meet some new faces at a new location

  • Poetry readings

  • Chess night

  • Live music

  • Art installations

  • Prose readings

Come in for one of our event nights

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the events

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Monday Night Chess: 6PM - close



Wednesday Open Mic: 7PM - close

“They didn’t yearn for a better life like many others, so much as they yearned for a different life.”

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives: The American Story, authored by Richard Stickann and Catherine Reasor Stickann, is the first book in “The American Story” series. It chronicles the migration of a family to Coles County, Illinois in the 1850s. There the father, William Sayre Gramesly and his sons, Charles and Henry, collectively were photographers, artists, historians, businessmen, farmers, lumbermen, miners, soldiers and adventurers. William and Henry, at ages 51 and 16 respectively, enlisted in the 5th Illinois Cavalry Regiment and fought in the Civil War. They also led a large contingent of Coles County men to the mines of Leadville, Colorado to dig for silver. The older son, Charles was a diarist and photographer, chronicling for forty-five years through words and pictures the events and people of Charleston, Illinois. Their story is told from the letters, journals and papers, and photographs they left behind.

It is an intriguing portrait of their endowment, our inheritance – the lives of these ordinary men told through their journals, letters, papers and photographs. It is a story of the intimate details of their lives and how those lives impacted the places where they lived, where they journeyed and where they died.

The authors will be reading from and signing copies of their book beginning at 7:00 p.m. on October 7, 2016 at Bob’s Book Store at 601 Monroe on the Charleston Square.

Richard Stickann is an EIU alumnus, former Charleston businessman and has family ties to Charleston. He has previously published two novels. Catherine Reasor Stickann, also an EIU alumnus, is a native of Charleston and has been a listener and follower of family history since she was a child. She has studied genealogy since the 1960s and has found that by learning about her family, she has gained an insight into herself. This is her first book.