This is a bittersweet letter that I must write.
Bitter, because it is the final stage of Paulina Springs Books being owned in the name of Brad Smith. Brad loved this store, the town of Sisters and the book community. While I am writing this letter, I am at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association trade show. Today the board of directors acknowledged the loss of Brad’s intelligence, compassion and humor that he shared as a fellow board member. In remembrance of Brad, they have created a scholarship program for booksellers east of the Cascades. Amy Cooper is the first recipient of the Brad Smith Memorial Scholarship. She has just opened The Barn Owl, a new bookstore in McCall, Idaho. Brad would have enjoyed her excitement in starting her new business.
This letter is sweet, because we know we are selling the store to an experienced, energetic and enthusiastic new owner. Lane Jacobson will be leading the store and adding his own perspective to the store’s future. I am confident Brad would have been very happy handing the reins to Lane. Randi, Brad’s wife, and I are very pleased that someone with Lane’s talent and eagerness will be guiding the store.
Please take the time to get to know Lane and make him comfortable as he learns about Paulina Springs Books and the community of Sisters. We know that the store is in very capable hands.
Thank you once again for your support during this difficult time.
A message from the new owner of Paulina Springs Books
First off, I’d like to give the sincerest of thanks to the owners and staff of Paulina Springs Books for their hard work keeping the store running in the months since Brad’s passing. Contrary to popular belief, working at a bookstore is not all relaxation and reading. It is difficult work, made even more so by a store’s uncertain future. They’ve all done an amazing job, and I hope that I speak for all the customers of Paulina Springs Books and members of the Sisters community when I extend my gratitude to them.
A sincerest of thanks, also, to the customers and members of the community that have shown their support for the store during this time. Our communities are the reason why we do this work, and it is clear this store is supported by a vibrant and passionate community of readers.
In the time I’ve spent getting to know Paulina Springs Books, nothing has stood out more than the outsized personality and character that Brad integrated into the store. You may see a few tweaks made here and there for the long-term health of the store, but folks can rest assured that I have the deepest appreciation for what Brad has done here and every intention of maintaining the spirit of the store.
I was born and raised in Mammoth Lakes, CA, a small mountain town in the Sierra Nevada mountains not unlike Sisters. I began my bookselling career at Booky Joint, Mammoth’s indie bookstore. As a child, Booky Joint gift certificates were my most sought-after gifts and working there was a dream come true. Eventually, I made my way to Chapel Hill, NC, and have been employed at Flyleaf Books for the last six years. I’ve worked in various roles at the store, most recently as the manager and lead buyer. I am also a founding member of the American Bookseller’s Association’s Diversity Task Force, created to help address issues of diversity and representation in the industry.
My devotion to independent bookselling runs deep, and I am beyond thrilled to become a part of the Paulina Springs Books family and engaged member of the Sisters community. I welcome all questions, feedback, and suggestions from the community. Until you’re able to find me at the store in the coming months, I can be reached at the temporary email address [email protected]. I look forward to meeting all of you.
Shelf Awareness also published an article about the store ownership transition. Best wishes to the Paulina Springs Books community, past, present, and future.