Eddy Nix got involved in the book business as a way to work through his self-proclaimed midlife crisis.
Nix, 46, the owner of Driftless Books in Viroqua, had spent some time traveling the world before deciding to sell books.
“Bookstores have always been the most comfortable sort of commercial place,” Nix said. “I have a hard time with Wal-Marts and malls and hyper-capitalism and consumerism, so bookstores are kind of an antidote to hyper-consumerism where you can be a little relaxed and slow and take your time.”
Nix spent most of his youth in La Crosse, where he attended four different schools over the course of 12 years. Through his childhood and teen years he was involved in local theater groups. By age 16 he had started his own theater company in La Crosse, with students from seven different high schools attending.
In his senior year of high school, he traveled to South Africa for a year through an exchange program with the Rotary Club. After his return he spent a small amount of time living and acting in Minneapolis. He then moved to Los Angeles for four years before spending the next 10 years traveling around Europe and South America.
Around 1993, he found Dreamtime Village, a permaculture homestead in West Lima. Nix lived there for about six years while also traveling. After those six years he moved back to Los Angeles for a bit, and that was when the whole book thing really began.
When asked where he sees the bookstore going in the future, Nix said, “I would think that it just continues to refine itself. Meaning there’s endless order to be made out of the chaos, which is the whole goal... Honestly my real goal is to die and give it to someone that will continue it. The goal is to just have it continue and be the best bookstore in the country, eventually, which it could be.”