About Us


Welcome! We’re Andy & Jennifer Mitchell.

We are committed to the legacy established by Jim & Sally Nurss–making Our Town Books a comfortable place in downtown Jacksonville, Illinois, where people who like to read, to write, and to talk about books and ideas can gather.

This is the story of Our Town Books.

Late one summer in 2010, on a walk to admire the changes being made in Jacksonville’s downtown plaza, Jim & Sally Nurss spotted a “For Rent” sign on an historic building. Peering in the window, they saw a fireplace mantel in a nook against one wall and an archway leading to another room. If someone wanted to open a bookstore in Jacksonville, this looked like the perfect spot to them. If only someone would open a bookstore…

By October, they’d decided who that someone would be.

With no retail experience, but with a background in business and accounting (Jim) and in writing and education (Sally), they decided to take a chance. A bookstore in downtown Jacksonville would soon be a reality.

They knew they’d made the right decision. Everywhere they went (even the drive-thru at the bank) they’d hear, “Are you the people who are opening the bookstore?” followed by an outpouring of support and enthusiasm. On the one hand they were surprised, on the other they weren’t, knowing Jacksonville to be a town where the reading and writing of books is highly regarded.

In early 2015, Jim & Sally made the decision to retire from the bookstore business, and Andy & Jennifer Mitchell were privileged to take the reins June 1, 2015.