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Posted on Jul 30, 2018

Indie bookstore, open mics draw budding NCW artists

It happens, AnaMaree Ordway said, without fail every day.
Three years since Ye Olde Bookshoppe opened on Wenatchee’s Palouse Street, people still wander into Ordway’s store marveling that there’s a bookstore there.
The surprise perplexes Ordway a little, when considering that even before she owned it, the place was still a bookstore.
“It feels like such a well-kept secret,” she said. “Every day, 10 people at least, ‘I didn’t know you were here.’”
Fortunately for Ordway, there’s an ever-growing group of people who have not only noticed her store, but begun frequenting it, particularly on Wednesday nights.
That’s when Ye Olde Bookshoppe opens its doors until late, hosting open mic nights for budding artists from around the region.
The store has hosted open mics for more than a year, welcoming scenic performers, storytellers, poets, ukulele players, guitarists, and many more.
“It’s just awesome,” Ordway said. “You never know what’s going to happen.”

AnaMaree Ordway in her natural habitat, surrounded by about 100,000 books at her store, Ye Olde Bookshoppe in Wenatchee.
Photo by Sebastian Moraga/Post-Register

Performers range in age from mid-teens to mid-80s, which makes it all the more entertaining.
Crowds range from the handful to about 20, so there’s a cozy feel to it all. And there’s no cover charge.
“It’s open. Just show up,” Ordway said.
Language can get a little spicy sometimes, but “it’s never like a tavern or something,” Ordway said, adding that she lets her little girl sit in on the performances.
Open mics start at 6 p.m., and with the store open until 7 p.m. in summer, Ordway sometimes has to pull double-duty, both keeping an eye on the show and on the store.
At the open mics, the vibe remains open and welcoming, even in these divided times, Ordway said.
“One thing I have found is, bookstore people are very open minded and tend to be more accepting and respecting of differences and diversity,” she said. “Or they can argue with some intelligence and learn from each other and communicate, not threaten and stomp feet.”
In addition to the open mics, the store hosts trunk shows for local jewelry makers, art walks inside the store (it’s a lot larger than it looks from outside) and book signings.
Ordway says things are going well right now, but she’s always open to adding more stuff. In addition, she sells a variety of artisan wares from local artists, like candles, soaps and chocolates.
“We are always open to change,” she said. “That’s how you stay fresh.”
The open mics, the trunk shows, the artists, and the 100,000 books are all a part of Ordway’s dream of owning a bookstore. The dream cannot compare with the reality, she said.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “I opened up my first day and I sold $6.50. The best $6.50 I ever made in my life.
Another dream that’s come true was her hope to fill the walls of her store with local art.
“Everything you see was brought in by the artist,” she said.
The store is located at 11 Palouse St. in Wenatchee. To learn more check out, or contact Ordway at

By Sebastian Moraga,