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An interview with Book Quest

Biblio checks in with Book Quest to learn more about their book business, collecting interests and more! To view and shop their inventory, click here.

When did you get started in bookselling?

After having many careers, a school teacher, a jeweler, a boat captain I had the opportunity to buy a bookstore in 1990.

What drew you to bookselling?

My background in education and my love of books always tugged at me. The love of books and the people who wrote them always was the intriguing part of it. The history contained in books and the legacy they have on our lives seemed to me always important.

Did you have any mentors in becoming a bookseller?

I had two or three people who helped teach me the intricacies of book collecting and the value of books and what to look for in a book

What are your specialties as a dealer?

We really try to appeal to a broad spectrum of topics. We have always loved Washington State History and other NW topics. Our Americana section is wide and full of some great books. Additionally, our books on military are quite inclusive of books on all facets of the military and it's history in our country.

What's the most amazing book you've ever sold?

I once sold as set of The Britannica 1912 to the University of Edinburgh that was a very unique set because their set had burned in a fire. I was the only bookstore in the world at the time that had this particular unique set and who had it listed and they called me directly, thrilled to find our set.

What is your favorite part of being a bookseller?

It has to be the people. Our customers love our selection and we are eager to cater to their topics when finding new titles to put in the store.

Do you have an open storefront or have you in the past?

We are a brick and mortar location in a small town of about 16,000, but started our presence on the Internet in 1997.

If so, do/did you have any bookstore pets?

We have our special friend, Molly who is a Clumber Spaniel who loves being in the bookstore occasionally and makes friends with our customers.

What is the funniest / strangest / scariest thing that ever happened in your store?

Probably locking a customer in the store when I had to go to the post office to mail a book. They had been in the store for quite sometime and were very quiet and it slipped my mind that they were still in the store. They realized they were in the locked store with no way to get out, but patiently waited for my return. They said they just kept browsing!!

What is your favorite bookshop (other than your own)?

Probably Powell's in Portland, OR. We are 90 miles away and it's always a fun trip to drive to go to Powell's.

What do you personally like to read? Collect?

I like biographies, military and historical topics.

What's your favorite book you personally own? Would you sell it, if the price were right?

"Grapes of Wrath" and yes I would sell it because I know I'll get another one soon thereafter.

What one book would you buy if price were no object?

A signed first edition of Huckleberry Finn or Tarzan of the Apes, first edition.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could bring three books, what would they be?

Bible, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, To Kill a Mocking Bird