Local bookstores become focus for world events

By Diane Wright

Herald Writer

Earthquakes and elections: Most bookstores traditionally spin off news events like these, creating displays directed toward the topic readers are trying to get their minds around.

The tragedy on the East Coast is something that may not prompt displays in bookstores, but already reaction is intense.

The Snow Goose Bookstore in downtown Stanwood is a community center, and reaction wasn’t long in coming.

“We’ve already have many calls from people to save the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and other papers, including yours,” said Chris Satterlund, co-owner of the Snow Goose with Kristine Kaufman.

“We’re worried, too, because all of our sales reps and all the publishing world is in New York, and we have many friends there.”

Early Tuesday morning, she said she asked one of the store’s delivery drivers, who is from the Middle East, if he had any family in New York.

“He said no, but ‘it’s too much, it’s just too much,’” she said. “One of the other delivery drivers from FedEx said it’s worse than Pearl Harbor.”

Both Satterlund’s children are in high school.

“My son is in global studies and my daughter is in social studies, and both my kids said, ‘Does this mean war?’ “

Kim Ricketts, a spokesman for University Book Store, is already feeling the effects.

“Most of my work is done with publishers back East,” she said. “That’s silent.

“‘I’m working on an event with Jon Krakauer (author of “Into Thin Air”) in November, a fundraiser for the Central Asia Institute, and I got a call from Jon this morning about the backlash against Muslim people.”

Shock is understandable. People have compared their sense of disbelief at watching the airplane hit the World Trade Towers and erupt into huge balls of flame to watching a movie by Jerry Bruckheimer such as “Armageddon,” “Pearl Harbor” and “Independence Day,” or reading a novel by Tom Clancy.

Barnes &Noble in Woodinville removed a display of “Nine Minutes Twenty Seconds: The Tragedy and Triumph of ASA Flight 529,” a disaster book about a commuter plane by Gary Pomerantz.

“It is a nonfiction book about the survivors of an airplane crash,” said Lee McDonald, community relations manager at the bookstore.

“I don’t know how customers would react to seeing another tragedy. It was very difficult. As a store, we’re trying to be very sensitive to our customers as well and our staff.”

You can call Herald Writer Diane Wright at 425-339-3443

or send e-mail to wright@heraldnet.com.

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