One of Sumner’s most recognizable Main Street businesses is , the new and used bookstore that was opened by owner and proprietor Evelyn Nicholas in 1997.
Upon entering A Good Book you might be greeted by Lego, the store pet. When asked what makes A Good Book different from other bookstores, self-titled “customer sales guru” Paige Mitchell replied, “We have a store dog and not a store cat.” She said the employees pride themselves on their organization and lack of dust.
Many of the bookstore’s customers are loyal. Mitchell mentioned one customer from Orting who gets her hair done in Sumner once a week, and comes in afterward every week, “like clockwork.”
“I could tell you what they read and where they live, even if I couldn’t tell you their names,” added Mitchell, in appreciation of their regulars.
A Good Book has something for every reader, from their impressive children’s section on the second floor, down to their journals and inspirational literature section on the first. Mitchell called their customer base “a melting pot.”
“We have a wide range of customers, from 2 years old up to 92.”
The Main Street bookstore maintains friendships with some of the authors it features on its shelves. The Vancouver, B.C. based author of children’s series The Chronicles of Kendra Kandlestar, Lee Edward Födi, in particular, often comes to Sumner for book signings, as well as offering creative writing workshops at elementary schools in the area.
Although it has taken longer than for most businesses, A Good Book has recently begun to feel the affects of the recession.
Fortunately, Mitchell said they do not feel particularly threatened by the rising e-book industry, because the customer who would purchase a used book is not generally the same customer who would buy a Kindle or an I-Pad. While electronic readers can cost up to $300, a used book costs around four.
A Good Book also offers “discount dollars.” If a customer brings his or her used books to trade-in, he or she will receive credits at a rate of half the price the book will be sold for. These will be saved on an account. Then, if the customer purchases a used book, movie or CD, credits may be applied to half of the price of their purchase. If the customer purchases a new book, credits may be applied to a quarter of the price.
Mitchell likes to call this system “insta-discount.”
A Good Book is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.