Second Hand Bookstore & Exchange

Once Read Logo BOOKS

  • Mysteries
  • Westerns
  • Sci-Fi
  • Humor
  • Non-Fiction
  • Romance Novels
  • Historical Fiction
  • Other

Mark, the owner/manager of the Once Read bookstore, welcomes you to stop in,
browse through the various selection of books and maybe exchange some of your own.

629 S Front St Mankato, Minnesota 56001 (507) 388-8144

Once Read Building

Historic Building

The building was constructed around 1870 and a 1930 newspaper article mentioned it as being "the first brick building this side of [Warren's] creek." The creek, named for Thomas P. Warren who owned most of the land in this area, was about 20 yards away and the section in this part of the city has since been diverted into a culvert system.

It has not been determined who the first tenant to occupy the building was, but one of the earliest businesses at this location was Joseph A. Presley & Sons Groceries in the 1870's. This was the main business in the building until 1913, the date of Joseph Presley's death (Dec 29). The 1888 Mankato City Directory lists C. M. Marsh & Company Groceries in the building but J. A. Presley is listed again in the 1906-07 directory.

The late teens found the Dunn Manufacturing Company in the building making door catches. In the 30's the building was again used as a grocery (Flo, Knapp & Co.), Other tenants included G. A. Wilson Electrical Appliances, Doring Bros. Dairy/Surge Milkers, and TV Signal (early cable TV).

Once Read Bookstore

In the early 1970's Mark Hustad observed the growing popularity of used book stores in the country. The price of new paperbacks was rising and people were showing more interest in purchasing used books. Mark travelled to numerous towns searching for the right location for a used book store. An early preference had been to locate somewhere in Indiana but he finally decided to start his Once Read Bookstore in Mankato, Minnesota. His complete stock at the time the business opened in 1975 was around 200 books and has since grown into the thousands.

After operating the business a year he was offered the opportunity of buying the building, an opportunity he immediately seized. Since then, Mark has been the sole proprietor of the business. A business which he believes has lasted longer than any of the previous tenants and the first business at this location where the manager of the store has also been the owner of the building.

J A Presley Ad

Cat and Milker

Unsolved Mysteries Of The Building

The picture on the left portraying the visage of Elvis Presley emanating from the radiator proves:

a) There is a relationship between the J. A. Presley Grocery store and the King of Rock and Roll.

b) The spirit of Elvis resides in the kitty cat.

c) The cat has just read a book about the King and is entertaining ambitions of being a rock star.

d) The picture is a fake and the building could just as well be haunted by the spirit of a Surge Milker. (See photo on right)

Cat and Milker
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