In honor of Independent Bookstore Day, we chatted with indies and asked them to share their story. Indie Bookstores are important parts of our communities, and this week we are celebrating all the amazing things they do.
The Neverending Bookshop (Bothell, WA) was once just an imagination for Annie Carl, but now it is reality. Annie’s bookstore not only brings the community together to read, but they also contribute to the local businesses. Readers are able to sell their books for store credit creating a constant flow
Here’s what Annie has to say about her experience as an indie bookseller:
Q: What does being an independent bookstore mean to you?
A: It means many things to me. It means being a part of my local business community and building my bookshop along with the other businesses in Bothell. Overall, I can connect on an individual level to different people and personally recommend books to fulfill their reading needs.
Q: If you could bring any author to your store for an event, who would it be and why?
A: I would like to have Garth Nix come to my store because he is my favorite author. It would be like having Madonna in my shop, but only better.
Q: What do you think has been your key to success for a thriving bookstore?
A: I believe you must have persistence, be knowledgeable, and exude joy. There's no point to open a business unless you're going to be happy doing the job. I enjoy my job, and I love going to work every day.
Q: How did you get into the book selling business and acquire your own store?
A: I got my first bookselling job at 15 at the local used bookstore. I worked there for seven years, and after a fight with cancer, I got a job at Third Place Books. My old boss decided to sell his shop and offered it to me. I had to decline, but it made me think about owning my own bookshop. In October 2015, I opened The Neverending Bookstore.
Q: What is the story behind the name of your bookstore?
A: The Neverending Story was the first book I read where a "real person" finds themselves physically in a book, influencing the action and meeting other characters. Isn't that the experience we're all hoping for when we crack open a cover?
Q: What do you find most rewarding about owning a bookstore?
A: The most rewarding aspect of owning a bookstore is selling books to people who are excited to read them. I love opening my shop every morning knowing that my customers most likely love books as much as I do.
Q: What unique events/programs does your bookstore offer for your community?
A: I host author events for local authors almost every weekend. Many of them are indie published, so it's a way for them to reach readers in their community. I also host reading parties every few months to bring readers together.
Q: What do you think the future looks like for independent booksellers?
A: I think it's a bright future. We provide such a unique experience that readers and those who are beginner readers will always seek us out.
Want to learn more about how you can support your local bookstore? The Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation is dedicated to financially assisting booksellers all over the country. Join us in their mission to strengthen the bookselling community by donating here.