The West Coast’s only bookstore devoted exclusively to poetry is up for sale.
John Marshall, co-owner of Seattle’s Open Books, said after 29 years in the business, he’s ready to retire.
He said the time is right for somebody younger with more energy to shepherd the bookstore into the 21st century.
“I’m an aging coot,” he said. “We have no social media attached to the store. I like it like that, but I’m not sure it’s the best thing for the bookstore.”
Despite his admitted lack of interest in the new online world, Marshall said the experience of running Open Books has been wonderful. He’s especially enjoyed the one-on-one interactions he continues to have with his customers in this era of online shopping.
“When people come in and we get to talk to them, the data banks in our craniums are invaluable,” he said.
When Marshall and his wife, Christine Deavel, first opened the store it was just the second poetry-only bookstore in the United States. Now there are four stores across the country devoted to poetry, but only one on the West Coast.
Marshall and Deavel hope to sell the business to another poetry lover. They own their building on 45th Avenue in Wallingford, so Marshall said they have the luxury to wait a few months until the right buyer comes along.
Whether they sell the business or close it down, Marshall promised a commemorative ceremony by Labor Day.