It’s my great pleasure to introduce one of Oregon’s great coastal bookstores, Beach Books in Seaside, Oregon. Store owner Karen Emerling graciously took a moment away from the holiday rush to share her thoughts with the Mixed-Up Files.
Everybody who opens an independent bookstore has a bookstore dream, and that’s what makes each one unique. What was yours?
Congratulations on your move! I love the bigger store on Broadway and Holladay. The new place feels so light and airy. What have you added or changed since moving?
In a small bookshop, there is only room for good books. How do you decide what titles to carry?
I choose books based on ones we read and like from the advance copies sent by publishers, recommendations from customers, lists of what is selling well at other independent bookstores in similar markets and books discussed on NPR. We carry many local authors – and there seem to be more and more local authors – and books related to the coast. Children’s books with stories/information based on the beach are particularly popular with tourists.
And finally, any big plans for the holiday season?
For the holidays were participating in Small Business Saturday and carrying the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association holiday catalog with a 10% discount on the great books they have included. We also celebrate by having a Wishing Tree for books requested by the school libraries at the four schools in the Seaside district. Customers earn a discount on the books they give and on a book for themselves.
Thank you so much for sharing Karen. If you happen to be on the Oregon Coast You can find Beach Books at 616 Broadway, Seaside, Oregon 97138. They are open from 10-6 on winter weekdays and 10-8 on the weekend. And if you are not lucky enough to visit the Oregon coast, please visit your independent bookseller this holiday season. Beyond all the benefits that come from shopping locally, independent bookstores play a vital role in keeping literary fiction for all ages alive and thriving in a world of chain stores that cares more for the predictable blockbuster than the art of good story telling. I would not be able to write the books I do if indie bookstores were not out there looking for them and sharing them with readers. Thank you!