Some people say my great grandmother, Polly Renne, started the Country Bookshelf. My Grandmother, on the other hand, says her mother had a bookstore but Maguerite Kirk, stated by the Country Bookshelf’s website to be the second owner of the store, started the actual store and called it White Chapel Books. I believe that Polly did start the store in 1957 off Tracy Avenue.
Mary Jane DiSanti, who was the owner of the store for 36 years until 2010, when she sold it to one of her employees, believes also that Polly started the bookstore.
Every one I talked to that knew Polly agreed that she LOVED books. “Oh yes, very much so!” exclaimed Cliff Montagne, a life-long friend of the Renne family. My Grandmother remembers that books were very important to her family. She also says that Polly started her bookstore because she wanted a bookstore with better books than what was available at that time. My mother still has Polly’s copy of The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthieson, one of Polly’s favorite books. I am proud that my great grandmother helped made good books a part of life in Bozeman through the Country Bookshelf, a great place to buy books now!