This month’s Indie Spotlight is Edmonds Bookshop, located in the heart of the city of Edmonds, Washington, on the beautiful Puget Sound just North of Seattle. As their website says, they’ve been “Finding Good Homes for Books since 1972.”
If there’s a book you’ve been wanting, Edmonds Bookshop can help you. If there’s a book you’d recommend to others, they’ll lend a listening ear as well. Their children’s collection is tucked into a cozy nook that’s welcoming for browsing.
Owner Mary Kay Sneeringer graciously shared with us about her shop.
MUF: Can you tell us what being an independent bookseller means to you? What does it allow you to do for your clients?
Mary Kay: Being an independent bookseller means I can bring any book into the store that I think will delight, intrigue, provoke or enlighten my customers. I learn so much from the readers who buy books from us. Remembering the stories they tell me, the books they have recommended in the past and their responses both to what they are reading and what is happening in the world informs many of the decisions I make about which books to carry.
MUF: What would you like people to experience when they walk through the doors of your shop?
Mary Kay: People who love books feel safe and comfortable in the right kind of bookstore. I hope people walk in and feel at home. I want them to be intrigued and to see books that they want to read on every shelf. The walls are lined with great stories just waiting for a reader to find them. Ideally, a browser will pick up a book and slip into its world losing all sense of time, falling under the spell of the author.
MUF: You stock a great selection of reads for young people, and we think it’s really cool that you offer a wide range of used books as well. Can you share with us some other ways your bookshop focuses on kids, in particular your middle grade readers?
Mary Kay: Middle grade readers often discover a certain author or genre and are extremely loyal. They can be reluctant to try something new. It is great when we can describe a book they haven’t tried yet in a way that makes them willing to take a chance on the unknown. When we get it right they come back, ready to trust us on another recommendation. We have a great resource in one of our staff members who is a children’s librarian and stays abreast of all that is happening for young readers.
MUF: What are some favorite middle grade reads, old or new, fiction or nonfiction, that you would recommend to our readers?
Mary Kay recommends:
Wonder by R. J. Palacio, Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
All the Harry Potter books
And, she says, The Worst Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure series is great for learning survival skills in a choose your own adventure format.
MUF: Any upcoming events you’d like us to pass on?
Mary Kay: Small business Saturday is November 29th, it’s a great day to show support for local, independent businesses. Tree lighting is that evening at 4:30.
We have expanded hours during the holidays. We are open Monday -Friday 10-8, Saturday 9-8 and Sunday 10-5. Saturday afternoons in downtown Edmonds will be very festive with a free decorated trolley, roving elves, a selfie-Santa, singers and lots of light and cheer. We wrap your purchases for free. Take it easy, make Edmonds downtown your holiday tradition.
MUF: Thanks very much, Mary Kay, for sharing about books with us. We had a good time visiting with you today! We hope your shop if full to bursting on Small Business Saturday.
Valerie Stein is author and publisher at Homesostasis Press. She’s currently at work on a middle grade historical mystery.