I have big news at Watermark. I have found new owners, Brandy and Ben Bowen. They are locals who feel as strongly as I do that we should have an independent bookstore in town. I am confident that they are the right people to take on the responsibility–and the challenge–of keeping Watermark at the heart of the Anacortes community.
Although it was 29 years ago, it seems like only yesterday since Norman and I were renovating the Carpenters Union Hall to turn it into our cozy shop. He and I ran Watermark together until his death in 1999. Though I was bereft, I was able to keep the shop going with assistance from many able staff members. They are too numerous to name here, but particular mention goes to Barbara Hoenselaar and Vicki McNeil, who put up with me for years and assisted me with interesting sideline purchases. All Watermark employees, past and present, deserve acknowledgement for helping me to keep the store afloat through tough times, and for contributing to its ambiance and civility. I have been humbled and gratified to work with them. I also wish to thank the many wonderful publisher sales representatives and authors with whom I have worked over the years.
Obviously I will miss the store and much that goes with being a bookseller. There’s nothing like opening a box of new books, and don’t get me started on the joys of selling a book to a customer I knew as a child who is now buying books for his children. (The value of stories lives on!) I will also miss you, the customers, as so many of you have become friends over the years. Books will continue to be a big part of my life and I look forward to having more time to read, garden, travel, and explore the forest lands.
In the meantime, Brandy and Ben and I have agreed that I will stay on at the store through May to help them get up to speed. The Bowens will bring fresh energy, ideas, and events to Watermark, and I am confident that it will flourish in their hands. I encourage you to support the Bowens by continuing to buy your books at Watermark Book Company, and to wish them well.
Those of you who know me understand that I prefer to keep things low key. There’s so much more I could reflect upon, but the most important thing left to say is sincere thanks–and keep reading books!
–Patti [owner of Watermark Book Company for 29 years]