Tuesday, March 21, 2017

GREEN APPLE BOOKS - The Interview - Part 2

Last night, you saw a whole mess of pictures of Green Apple Books' 2 locations.  Tonight, you get to read how Pete Mulvihill came to own GAB and a few insights into how they operate their stores.  P.S.  If you haven't been to Green Apple Books yet, make a point of getting there.  Tie it in to dinner in the City, like I did.  You will be REALLY happy you got there. Without further palaver from yours (un)truly, heeeeeeeeerrrrrrr's Pete:

1.      How did you end up owning Green Apple Books?
I started as a temp in 1993 right after college.  I worked for the bookkeeper in the office for a few months, then the receiving department.  I went to grad school part-time, never imagining that bookselling would be my career.  But after a few years, the original owner approached me and another employee about buying the store.  We added a third partner, negotiated an owner-financed buyout, and gradually acquired the store. 

 2.    How long have you owned Green Apple Books?
We took over running the store day-to-day in about 2000.

3.    How many events do you host in a year?
The flagship store on Clement only does about a dozen events a year in-store.  Space is limited.  But our Sunset store, Green Apple Books on the Park, does about 75-100 events each year.

4.    Do you have a social media  and/or event coordinator?
I suppose i"m the social media coordinator, but we have different folks working on different platforms.  And we do have an events coordinator for each store, though those folks also do other things, from running the register to publicity.

5.    How do you pick your authors for the store?
For Clement, we mostly only do local authors.  At Books on the Park, we skew towards literature in translation, small presses, promising debuts writers, and books we just plain love. 

6.    Do you work through publishers, publicists, editors, et al?
We do; we go to NYC each year to meet publishing people who hold the keys. 

7.    Do you have book clubs, kids’ activities, YA groups, etc.?
Not regularly.  

8.    Are you a Bay Area native?
No.  I grew up in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC.  But I moved here right after college, married an SF native, and have two kids who are natives!

9.    Did you grow up a bibliophile?
Yep, though I didn't think of myself that way.  Reading was just part of every night, part of discovering the world beyond my suburb. We were library kids. 

10.  How many stores do you have?   
Two, for now.  Want to buy one?


  1. I grew up with books too and thought everyone did until I went to college.

    1. Me too. It didn't occur to me that some people didn't read. Now we know that there are lots of those out there. That's one of the reasons I'm such a big fan of audiobooks (even though I don't listen to them). People who don't read print or ebooks are still getting the benefit of hearing stories.