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Looking ahead to a new chapter: Owner of Bev’s Book Nook in Perham is retiring

Hockett finds the proper shelf for a book in her downtown Perham shop. Hockett is retiring after nearly 30 years of selling books on Main Street. Brian Hansel/FOCUS1 / 2
Bev Hockett looks on as Katie Luhning of Ottertail reads to her 20-month-old son, Weston, and her three-year-old niece, Mia Shaw. Brian Hansel/FOCUS2 / 2

Like many parents, the clock ticking inside Bev Hockett's brain is attuned to events in the life of her children.

Hockett bookmarked her first year in the book-selling business by when her daughter Jackie started school—1989.

So now when people ask her today how long she has been in business she can truthfully say she is crowding 30 years. Bev's Book Nook has not always been located at 126 West Main Street in Perham, but it has been there long enough to be considered one of the fixtures of downtown.

Hockett is closing her Perham business Sept. 30 and retiring. She still intends to sell books, but she will do it online.

Hockett will be mixing books with bovines in the years ahead. Bev and her husband, Terry, have a beef operation near Frazee. She can already see herself enjoying a morning cup of coffee and a book on her farm home's deck.

Leaving the many rows of books in her shop is one thing. Leaving people she has known for many years is another. She leaves the business world with a profound sense of gratitude for the help and support she has received.

"I've met a lot of interesting people and a lot of very nice people," Hockett said. "That's what I am going to miss the most."

Hockett has been getting people hooked, for years and she has enjoyed it.

"It's fun to get people hooked on reading," she smiled.

Hockett's credentials for running a book business when she plunged into it were not terrific. Prior to opening her shop she was a stay-at-home mom and a paraprofessional at Frazee. Yet she could read the cards pretty well, and when she opened her Perham shop she filled a niche.

"My husband and I were both avid readers, and there was nowhere up here to buy books at the time," Hockett said.

After being in the business almost three decades Hockett has many kinds of books for her customers — new, used, collectible and vintage.

"If I don't have it I can find it for them," Hockett said.

Hockett is a big believer in parents reading books to children.

"It improves their vocabulary," she said. "They say readers are leaders."

Hockett has found that her customers generally know what they are looking for when they enter her shop. Mysteries and contemporary fiction are popular with the greatest number of her customers.

All Hockett has to know in order to help them is what their reading interests are.

Her own interest in reading material comes from authors like Linda Castillo, John Sanford and Jess Lourey. Castillo writes Amish mysteries. Sanford and Lourey are both Minnesota writers.

"I can read almost anything but science fiction," Hockett laughed.

Retirement for Hockett is a book that has yet to be written.

She has been getting up and going to work six days a week for many years.

"It'll take me a while to adjust," Hockett said.

Hockett does not have just one ace up her sleeve as she heads into retirement, she has nine of them.

"After I retire we have nine grandchildren within 50 miles," she said.