Al’s Old & New Book Store looking for new home after almost six decades in Delano

WICHITA — Al’s Old & New Book Store owner Anita Siemer says she’s “reeling.”

That’s because in about three months she’ll be forced to move her store from its home at 1710 W. Douglas between Seneca and Meridian.

Siemer has owned the store for nine years, but it’s been in that location for four decades and in Delano for almost 60 years.

“I’m trying to stay in Delano,” she says.

Her landlord is selling the building, and Siemer says she’s not sure where she’ll find such accommodating rent again.

“My rent here has been really friendly over the years.”

Siemer says as she talks with real estate brokers, “They’re almost ready to laugh at me when I tell them what I currently pay and how far I’m willing to go up.”

She says she’s willing to move to Old Town or somewhere similar and knows that wherever she goes the rent is “going to take my breath away.”

Siemer is undaunted by local and Internet competitors thanks to what she calls her great customers.

“We have a lot of fun finding good books to read,” she says. “I really love the book business.”

There is one thing she finds “a little overwhelming,” though.

“I really don’t love the thought of moving 50,000 books.”