Visit Watermark Book Company Here’s Kathleen Kaska’s interview with owner Patti Pattee
After traveling around the country for 18 months, my husband and I settled on Fidalgo Island in the quaint town of Anacortes. The cool climate and long summer days were not the only attraction that drew us to this Pacific Northwest town. The historic district is home to our favorite deli, pub, coffee shop, and bookstore, Watermark Book Company. Owner Patti Pattee has provided the community with an array of books for the past twenty-two years. Read what Patti has to say about owning an independent bookstore and about life in Anacortes.
1. What do you enjoy most about owning Watermark? Sharing the love of books with people, and getting to know them through what they read. It's especially gratifying to watch young people grow and change in their reading tastes.
2. What is your biggest challenge? I’ve owned the bookstore since November 1989. These days the biggest challenge is the e-book revolution. Before that it was (and still is) amazon, then came the mega-stores. And one time it was a rockslide that kept the road to Anacortes down to one lane.
3. You have a lot of great authors scheduled for book signings. Do you look for a certain type of author when you schedule events? Of course big name authors bring in the most people, but local authors have great appeal, too. Last week we had a poetry reading during store hours, and almost a dozen people attended. It was nice and cozy. This summer we had bestselling author, William Dietrich, here reading from his latest book, Blood of the Reich and last summer Jim Lynch, the winner of the 2010 Washington State Book Award was here reading from The Highest Tide.
4. What type of reading community exists in Anacortes, and how do you reach them? We have a huge eclectic reading public here in our little town. We try to reach them through word of mouth, our online newsletter (reviewing books and announcing readings), and through events and good window displays.
5. Who is your typical customer? We don't really have a typical customer. That makes being here more fun, though.
6. What trends do you notice happening in the book world? At different times certain genre or nonfiction grab the spotlight. It's funny; hardback fiction sales have declined all over. We are selling travel books and travel literature, also our favorite books that we put on our pick shelves. Cookbooks remain strong even though the Internet has so many recipes to offer. But we mostly look for books that feature good writing.
If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by. Grab a book at Watermark Book Company and stroll down to the Gere –a- Deli for a sandwich and cup of espresso. If you get there early, you might find a table outside where you can enjoy the beautiful weather and great grub. Then linger a while and read, read, read.