Saturday, October 17, 2015

An Interview with Kathleen, the Owner of A Great Good Place for Books

Earlier this year, I summarized an interview I had with Margie Scott Tucker, co-owner of the Books, Inc. chain.  Now we have our 2nd interview with a bookstore owner. Kathleen, the owner of A Great Good Place for Books, took my questions and responded the next day! Here are her answers, verbatim, below:

1.  How did you end up owning GGP?  My good friend, Debi Echlin, passed away unexpectedly and left me the store.
2.  How long have you owned GGP?  My 10 year anniversary of owning the store is 11/25/2015
3.  How many events do you host in a year? 2-4 events a week except in August and December
3.  Do you have a social media and/or event coordinator? Carolyn Hutton is both our social media and events coordinator.  I used to be both; way to much work for one person! Carolyn is a godsend!
4.  How do you pick your authors for the store? The publishers send out grids each season and we write proposals for events. Also I have been in the industry 25 years (14 years as an events coordinator) and I have a lot of friends.
5.  Do you work through publishers, publicists/ editors, et al? Yes to all of the above!
6.  Do you have book clubs, kids' activities, YA groups? etc.We have one instore bookclub for adults and another for adults reading YA; we also work with the local middle schools and have student interns through out the year. We also have a summer reading program.
7.  Are you a Bay Area native? I was not born in the bay area (I was born in Greenwich, CT) BUT have lived here since I was two--so consider myself a native! I grew up in the East Bay and have lived in Oakland for 13 years this round!  
8.  Did you grow up a bibliophile? I was born a book nerd! There are pictures of me at two holding books upside down pretending to read. Books and the worlds that exist in them have always been a major part of life! 

GGP is located at 6120 La Salle Avenue in the Montclair District of Oakland.  This is the same store where I met one of my favorite authors - Beth Hoffman - and where I just met Lauren Groff.  It's also the same store that sponsored Vanessa Diffenbaugh's appearance at a local church back in August (as you may or may not know, The Language of Flowers is in my top 12 all-time!).  Get on their email list and pay close attention to the schedule of author appearances.  They're getting top-notch authors. And the store is just so darn cool.  (For pictures of the store, go to my post from October 1.)

1.  Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith, book 1 of a trilogy, will be hitting the big screen next April.  Gary Oldham is one of the stars.  I really liked this book.  In fact, Child 44 is in Volume I of Fiction for the Non-Fiction Reader (FFTNFR).  If you haven't read Child 44, you've got plenty of time before the movie comes out.  You will be happy you read it.
2.  Although there's no date yet, Orphan Train is also being made into a movie. Christina Baker Kline's novel, based on true events, is an absolutely terrific book.  A solid 4/4 for me.


  1. Happy Sunday, Lloyd - Thanks for the fun (and interesting) interview with Kathleen. You both are special to me and I have fond memories of my event at GGP.

  2. Ditto. I have Stacy from stacybuckeye to thank. She's the one who insisted I see you when you came to GGP. I great decision on my part to listen to her!