Welcome to The Moonstone Bookstore and Emporium. We had an exciting grand opening as we commenced our operations on May 26, 2018,  just in time for the Red Cloud Alumni Weekend. We also hosted an event for the annual Willa Cather Conference on May 30, 2018 and then visited with many of the cyclists participating in the BRAN ride across Nebraska on June 6, 2018. We have had tourists from all across the United States including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, California, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Texas, Indiana, Colorado and Kansas. These have been exciting and busy times.

Our web page includes our upcoming events, an online component of our bookstore’s inventory, a history of our bookstore, a blog and other interesting features. We have a Facebook page where you can see what is happening at the Moonstone as we post regularly. We also offer specials and updates about new acquisitions to our collections.

Come and visit us here in Red Cloud, heart of Willa Cather country and the source of inspiration for so many of her Nebraska writings. We are also home to other historic events that have taken place here or nearby including a visit by Zebulon Pike during his explorations of the West in 1806,  and the park where many early baseball stars played before heading to the majors including Hall of Famers Dazzy Vance and Cy Young.  Just to the east of Red Cloud was a large Pawnee Indian village, a site which is designated as a National Historic Landmark. Henry Obitz, a professional golfer who designed the Red Cloud Golf Course was a Red Cloud resident.

So make it a day, come and visit Red Cloud, America’s most famous small town.

About our bookstore

We have an incredible collection of used books that include both fiction and non-fiction. If you are looking for a new author to read or something out of the ordinary we are worth the visit. We are also planning to expand our collection into specific subject fields in the future.

The Moonstone has also created an online store and in the coming months will begin to upload a partial listing of our books for purchase along with other items that we sell. The store is operational and functional and there are some books now listed. We regularly post books for sale on our Facebook page too.

There is also a chance to have a cup of coffee or tea, or during the summer, a glass of lemonade or ice tea and a kolache, a Czech dessert roll that is common here in Nebraska. We also have other snacks.

In addition, we have begun a series of programs called A Conversation With . . . in which we host speakers with a wide range of interests and expertise. It is our hope to create a place where all kinds of conversations can be undertaken.  They may take the form of lectures, readings, musical events and gatherings for social occasions. So far we have had Suzi Yost Schulz who spoke to the facts and fiction about Willa Cather’s novel My Antonia during the annual Willa Cather conference. Then it was Bob Beardslee who reflected on his life in Red Cloud and read from his book Hometown Memories. Prior to that we hosted a meet and greet event for Marianne Reynolds who is running for mayor here in Red Cloud.

Our proprietor, Peter Osborne gave a presentation entitled Lewis and Clark and Me which took a look at the famed expedition and his own voyage of discovery as he followed their route in an RV in 2008. We have also had our first musical performance by the Trenchant C’s with plans to have more in the future. We are featuring the work of regional artists in the store on a regular basis. Right now we have photographs that Peter took while  on his journey in 2008 on display.

Come and visit us here in historic Red Cloud, home to the Willa Cather National Center.

History of the bookstore

The Moonstone Bookstore and Emporium was opened in 2018. Its name comes from the fictional town in Colorado that Willa Cather used to describe her childhood hometown in the novel The Song of the Lark. The Moonstone Bookstore is a full-service independently owned bookstore that strives to serve the community not only as a retail store but as a place people can gather, have conversations, and feel at home.

The building in which we are located was built in 1913 and is owned by Dr. Amy Springer. Dr. Springer also owns the book collection. For most of its life the building has been home to several drug stores, a dress shop and in more recent times was a full service bookstore from 2006-2009 and then home to two different cafes from 2010-2015.

The historic photograph was taken not long after the building was constructed and is courtesy of Jay Yost and Wade Leak. We are grateful for their permission to use the photograph on our web page.