Astoria’s alternative paper Hipfish Monthly published an article today with a comprehensive guide to some of the great indie stores of the north Oregon Coast and the southern Washington Coast. There are short profiles of a dozen stores and their owners. The Coastal booksellers are presented as a smart, hearty, lively group who run cozy shops and love what they do and are game for weathering the storms and uncertainties of bookselling.
Godfather’s Books is described “an Astoria Institution: a social hub; a place for one-of-a-kind gifts; an outstanding used book collection; a spot to listen to the employees play music; a special refuge sheltering real, hands-on books and magic, where [owner] Charlie [Holboke] is as excited about bringing his customers new and used books as he was initially in the late seventies.”
“I have learned a great deal about how people’s tastes change and evolve,” says Cannon Beach Book Company owner Valerie Ryan, “but one thing is constant: a well-written book is easy to talk about and hand-sell.”
Karen Emmerling, who owns Beach Books in Seaside, told the reporter that last year was her best year yet in business (since 2005). “More than ever, customer service is important,” says Emmerling. “Personal connection is what keeps people coming back.”
Beach Books is an organizer of the first annual Seaside author event, Written in the Sand, which will be June 23, with more than 20 authors gathering at Downing Park to sign copies and read from their books.