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An interview with Browsers' Bookstore

Biblio checks in with Browsers' Bookstore 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?

I started selling in 1999, opened my own shop in 2001. In 2006, we opened a second store.


What drew you to bookselling?

I have loved books my whole life. My big plan was to retire and open up a used bookstore. I only had the romantic image of a bookseller, and didn't realize how much work is involved!


Did you have any mentors in becoming a bookseller?

In the beginning, I was entirely self-educated. During the past decade or so, I've been lucky to network with a variety of booksellers in the Pacific Northwest.


What are your specialties as a dealer?

Our specialty is an uncommon one for many online dealers: we are an active brick & mortar store! Some of our online specialties include books about books, fine press, and vintage fiction.


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

It breaks my heart to much to share.


What is your favorite part of being a bookseller?

Customers.


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

Open. I'd go stir-crazy selling from home, though I am friends with many dealers who do it and who appear perfectly sane.


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

Our back rooms have a healthy population of spiders, does that count? Pets are welcome in the shop.


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

Opera.


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

The former Serendipity Books.


What do you personally like to read? Collect?

I enjoy reading & collecting early-mid 20th century novels (Francis Beeding, Jefferey Farnol, Daphne du Maurier, Shirley Jackson); and illustrated editions of classics.


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

Hard to say. One thing I have which is super cool is Swiss Family Robinson in Words of One Syllable. Two copies, nearly identical. One was owned by my maternal grandfather in 1920s Washington; one was owned by my paternal grandfather in Kansas in 1900s.


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

Arion Press edition of Moby Dick.


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

I have three stand-by's that I use to answer this question, which I'm asked pretty frequently: Johnson's Dictionary, Works of Shakespeare, and the Bible.