Established in 1980 by Richard & Carol Avol, Avol’s is a general used and out-of-print bookstore. Originally located on Williamson St., the store moved after one year to a single-story frame building located at the intersection of State St., Broom St., and Gilman. Some years later, a fire in an adjacent building forced the store to move, and it relocated to the former Women’s Building at 240 W. Gilman. The present owner, Ron Czerwien, purchased the business from the Avols in 1993. Shortly thereafter, Richard & Carol Avol moved to Washburn, WI, where they currently operate Chequamegon Books & Coffee.
After the Women’s Building was sold to a local developer in 2003, Avol’s lost its lease. At about the same time, Canterbury, a new bookstore which also operated a café and bed & breakfast, announced that it would be closing after 13 years of operation. The owners met, and soon arrangements were made for Avol’s to lease the former Canterbury Bookstore space. The coffee-shop space was subsequently sublet to Bookworks, another used & out-of-print bookstore, which had closed its State St. location about a year after Canterbury closed. The bed & breakfast also discontinued operating and today the rooms are rented, mainly to graduate students and visiting faculty.
In late July of 2012, Avol’s gave up its lease and the space was rented to A Room of One’s Own, a locally owned and operated new book store. Avol’s owner, Ron Czerwien, continues to maintain a presence by supplying used books to Room on a consignment basis, and by acting as the used-book buyer for the store.