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Used Bookstore, Bluestem Books Brings Classic Bookstore Vibes

Bluestem Books has been a part of the Historic Haymarket since their start. Originally located underneath Rosa Parks Way, Bluestem Books is now located on 9th and N.


Scott Wendt has owned Bluestem Books for 36 years alongside his late wife and business partner, Pat. Scott has continued running Bluestem Books with daughter-in-law, Kelly. 

The business has been in its current location since 2008. 

Pat and Scott Wendt met in a history class at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Scott was a history major minoring in English, and Pat was an English major minoring in History. Pat introduced Scott to her passion of book collecting, which led to owning a bookstore. 

Scott Wendt has owned Bluestem Books for over 34 years.

“A bookstore isn’t probably for the majority of people, but there is a strong group of people,” Scott Wendt said. “We buy what we like.” 

Bluestem Books’ current niche is poetry, philosophy, and history. Their biggest booksellers are in regional history and military history. The bookstore doesn’t carry a lot of best sellers or current popular literature. 

“It has to have a shelf life,” Wendt said. “If it’s something no one will be reading next year, we’ll generally pass on it. If it’s in Goodwill, I don’t want it.”

Bluestem Books was once an old art gallery.

“We had a friend that had an art gallery here,” Wendt said. “She came down to talk to us and it was perfect. It was set up for an art gallery, but it works perfectly for a bookstore.”

Maribel is the favorite employee at Bluestem Books.

Bluestem Books is a used bookstore and donations. 

“We buy what we like, and if our customers like the books we like, we’ll do fine,” Wendt said. “We bought books we thought were neat books and we thought once we open [Bluestem] we’ll let our customers choose what they want, but it hasn’t turned out that way. We just still buy books that we like and then you get the customers that like the same thing.” 

Scott has vowed not to buy books for his collection from his bookstore. Wendt said he did not want to compete with himself while buying books. 

Bluestem Books has over 800 books on chess. From leatherbound classics to books on Nebraska history, Wendt believes Bluestem has a larger selection than big box stores. 

“We try as much as we can to continue the tradition of running an old-fashioned bookstore,” Wendt said. “We are constantly buying books.” 

With Bluestems Books’ loyal customer base, the bookstore will continue to keep its tradition of running an old-fashioned bookstore. 

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