Words of wisdom from the Seattle Mystery Bookshop
The folks over at Seattleist — part of Jake Dobkin’s amateur empire of regional blogs — caught up with J.B. Dickey & Bill Farley of the Seattle Mystery Bookshop, a store I’ve been dying to visit for years. It’s a great interview, describing the store’s origins, who people should be reading, and variation of tastes:
**Does the corollary about people with difficult jobs liking
lighter books, and those with nicer jobs liking harder books, hold
true? Or was it an off the cuff statement?**
JB: It’s a very broad statement, but yeah, I think it’s basically
true. Just like overall, I have found that the majority of readers of
true crime are women, whereas men don’t really read true crime. Is that
true all over the place, or just us? I don’t know.
Some people used to say that men buy more hardcovers and women are
more paperback buyers. I don’t know that that’s true. It probably
depends on the author.
But by and large, people choose types of mysteries or authors to
escape from their everyday world, either into something more calm and
entertaining or something more exciting and challenging. We have
people, for the most part women, who buy all the different kinds of
needlepoint or culinary books. We have guys who buy all baseball books
or sports mysteries from us. The wonderful thing about mysteries is
there’s something for everybody. In the years that we’ve been here,
there have been very few times we’ve been stumped – not to toot our own
horn – over trying to find a certain type or setting for a mystery.
It’s a very flexible form.
Bill: I’m reminded of the time somebody wanted every book we had
that had an illustration of any kind of luggage on the cover. You’d
think that with books like “The Case of the…” that we would have a lot,
but we couldn’t find that many. We found some, but it was really fun
looking around for luggage covers.