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.