What is your favorite book? Interviews with a few book loving shop owners.

Etta + Billie Book Lover Pride and Prejudice Wine

I’m an avid book lover and have been since I was a child. I used to read in the car (thank goodness, otherwise I would have never survived the multi hour trips up and down the California and Oregon Coast with my family each summer), at the library before school and later, during my commute in San Francisco. This included reading while walking (I only ran into someone once in five years, I swear). I love getting lost in a book, letting my imagination run wild creating scenes and characters described within the it’s pages (I still prefer the real thing). After I quit my day job, it was difficult find time for reading, unless I was stuck on a plane or on a random bus ride. I didn’t realize how negatively this shift in my daily habit impacted me until I happened upon this blog post. From that day on, I decided that I could carve out time for my beloved books. I started with 15 minutes a day and worked my way up to almost an hour. Pure bliss.

Reading is magic to me. Each story has a various interpretations, it can pierce your heart, paint a smile on your face or make you exhausted. Each story sets a tone, exposing and bringing up different emotions depending on your own life experiences and the lives you live through reading. I know that I am not the only one who feels this way about reading, so I decided to reach out to some of our favorite retailers to find out a bit about the books they love. Read on.

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Karen Templer of Fringe Supply Co.

Karen Templer is the mind behind the beautiful online shop Fringe Supply Co. A fine anthology of beautiful knits she’s made, tools, accessories as well as magazines to satisfy yarn-hungry fans. Each piece from her line is carefully selected to represent her love for quality knitting from concept to fruition.

Fringe Supply Co.

What is your favorite book?

It’s too hard of a question — Gilead, Any Human Heart, The Book of Ebenezer le Page, the list goes on. (I seem to have a thing for the reflections of old men.) The most fun I can recall having with a book was reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog in a curtained daybed on a beach in Mexico a few years ago. Somehow it was the perfect book for that moment.

Which character you would like to have dinner with?

I think someone who would not only amuse me but who would also cook the meal, so maybe the hilarious misanthrope from The Epicure’s Lament.

What was your favorite book as a child?

My favorite was a book on Greek mythology that I checked out from my school library an untold number of times. It was very large format but not very thick and had lost its dustjacket, so it was just this big flat book covered in light grey book cloth. As I remember it, it had an abbreviated version of each of the major gods/myths — like a paragraph long or so — with a black-and-white illustration. I’ve been trying to figure out for years what it was so I could track down a copy. I’d love to see it again, and own it.


Karen books (2)

Have you ever liked a movie more than the book? If so, what was it?

I know this has happened a few times but I can’t think of an example! Often I’ll just skip a book with the intention of seeing the inevitable movie instead — it it’s more about the plot than the writing, or if I don’t care enough to spend precious reading time with it but will grant it 90 minutes of viewing time.

What book is on your must read list right now?

I don’t really keep a list these days like I used to, but sort of drift from one thing to the next. I’m almost to the end of The Woman in White, which I’ve actually been listening to for what feels like a year, so it will probably be something pithy and contemporary.

Book or Kindle?

I’ve read almost exclusively on my iPhone since 2008, and since moving to Nashville and having a daily commute (as well as spending many hours a week walking) I’ve been listening to audiobooks more than anything. But lately I’ve been really longing for printed books. Maybe the real joy of that Hedgehog book in Mexico was that it was an actual book.


From left to right : Jessie, Kate & Sara. Photo by Sarah Jurado Photography

Jessie and Kate were inspired to create E. Smith Mercantile to honor the values of their great grandparents. Creating a space where craftsmanship and community are intimately connected. Each item in the shop is carefully curated, modeled after the mercantile’s of the early 20th century which served as meeting spaces as well as a place to for everyday essentials.

E. Smith Mercantile

What is your favorite book?

My favorite book is The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. My favorite book currently is The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s a combo of everything I love reading about; history, horticulture, adventure, sex, human behavior…

Which character you would like to have dinner with?

I would have dinner with Morgan le Faye. I think the Christians scape goated her, she was a maligned character. I want the real story!

What was your favorite book as a child?

As a child I loved all the Dr Seuss books. His imagination, word pay, and silliness were great fun.


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Have you ever liked a movie more than the book? If so, what was it?

I never like a movie more than a book, nothing is better than your own imagination. In your own mind there are not limitations.

E. Smith Mercantile
208 1st Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98104

Open: 7 days a week, Mon-Sat 10am + Sun 12pm

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