In this episode, I'm chatting with Anne Holman and Calvin Crosby, co-owners of The King's English Bookshop, about diversity in Salt Lake City, what led them both to bookselling, the food scene in Salt Lake City, and Books!
Over the bookshop's 33 years of existence, the staff has created a welcoming environment for readers, a carefully selected inventory, a staff-wide ability to match books with readers, and active engagement with both their local community and the larger community of independent booksellers. The King's English philosophy has always been simple: pick good books, pass them on.
My reading was happily never curtailed by peers, grown-ups, or anyone that felt I should be reading something else or something more appropriate for boys. Today I still read across genres and look for strong characters—male, female, and transgender (read Real Man Adventures by T Cooper, a book that speaks of the trans experience from an intimate, honest, and humorous perspective.)
I am glad that I didn't listen to "what I should be reading" as a boy, and I know I am a better man for having been able to read books that appealed to me because they are well written with intriguing characters and not because of my gender.
My mom used to tell me to get out of bed, go outside, and play with my friends! It wasn't that I didn't want to play; it was just that a book—pretty much any book—caught my attention and carried me away.
A reader since I was old enough to hold a book, it never occurred to me that a person could have a job where books and people could come together, and one could earn money doing it. A brief stint at Waldenbooks at the old Crossroads Mall in Salt Lake City cemented my love for working in a bookstore. Even processing "returns" was fascinating to me. Next came a job at the circulation desk at the Salt Lake City public library, which was fun but not the same as retail. Many years and two kids later, I found myself back in Salt Lake. The King's English has been my home away from home for over 20 years, and I can't imagine doing anything else.
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