I met him once, briefly. It was back when I was working at the airport. I was up on a ladder, shelving in the Mystery section, and a gentleman came up to browse. We got to talking about authors we liked and we had a lot of them in common. I did as any good bookseller would do and made a few recommendations, told him how much I had enjoyed talking to him about books, and descended the ladder to ring him up. It wasn’t until we were face-to-face over a cash register that I recognized him, which was a damned good thing. This was the man who had voiced Cogsworth. The man who had portrayed one of my earliest television crushes (Winchester was smart and had *that voice*, so yeah). I would have never been able to speak with him so comfortably had I known who he was at the time.
Instead, I’m left with the memory of a man who was passionate about crime fiction and enjoyed talking books. He remains, to this day, one of my favorite customer interactions and I only wish I had the opportunity to have more conversations with him about books. If the afterlife has a library, I hope that Mr. Stiers has been granted a comfortable chair and a good reading light.
Billie Bloebaum is a bookseller at Third Street Books in McMinnville, OR. Since she enjoys audio books on her commute, she may want to spend some time with titles narrated by Stiers to get more of “*that voice*.”