Anne Marie Kessler is a family doctor at Cascades East in Klamath Falls, originally from Ohio. A couple years ago, Kessler and her husband, who is also a doctor, made the decision that they would stay in Klamath Falls after their residency program ended.
Despite having the busy schedule of a doctor with two young children, Kessler decided to pursue a passion project; she’s opening a bookstore in downtown Klamath Falls.
“When we decided to stay, we really felt that we needed to do something to give back to the community. You know, do something other than be doctors,” she said. “So he does a lot of computer stuff for the hospital — he’s really passionate about that, and I am very passionate about books,” she said.
She described what her bookstore will look like. She envisions a robust children’s section, with room for patrons to sit down and drink tea while they read. She hopes to have books that are locally relevant, as well as books from a wide range of genres.
“I super, super love books, my family are real book people,” Kessler said. “I’m the second to youngest of seven and my older brothers and sisters were always passing books down to me. I read across a lot of genres and I really believe in the power of books to expose people to new ideas and places and stories,” she said.
Kessler said she hopes to have the book store open within a year and she has already chosen a name.
“It’s called Canvasback Books, named after the duck that flies through these parts. And also, it’s evocative of a book cover,” she said.
Saturday book day
For now, the people of Klamath Falls can visit Kessler’s booth in the Saturday farmers market. It’s the pop-up version of her bookstore.
“The farmer’s market was really kind to include me,” she said.
She hosts storytime book readings three times a day during the farmers markets. Children can come sit under the canopy in the back of the pop-up shop and listen as a book is read to them.
At one of last week’s readings, eight children listened eagerly as a volunteer read them a book called, “Dragons love tacos.”
Kessler said she has carefully curated the selection of children’s books.
“It’s a selection of books that promote early childhood literacy, developing emotional intelligence and building community connections,” she said.
For adults, Kessler chooses a new topic each week and sets up a small area at the booth dedicated to that topic. Last week the topic was astronomy, and week before that it was gardening. One upcoming topic Kessler is excited about is Klamath Basin history.
Kessler has never owned a business before, but she said she has had a lot help from the city and the community.
“There’s a whole community of people that help each other with figuring out how to do this,” Kessler said. “It really is a passion of mine and I view it as giving back to the community,” she said.