Queen Anne Books looking for buyer

Posted on February 20th, 2012 by Editor


The owner of Queen Anne Books, Patti McCall, is looking for the next adventure in her life. She has decided to put a Queen Anne institution on the market.

McCall sent this letter today:

Dear Friends of Queen Anne Books,

Almost 14 years ago, Cindy Mitchell and I met with Randy and Alice to discuss the possibility of buying Queen Anne Books, sealing the deal July 31, 1998. It has been an amazing ride: Borders Books and Barnes & Noble were the ‘big, bad, box stores’; Amazon was a new and far-reaching idea just beginning to take off; Tower Books was our nearest competitor; and there was no such thing as an e-book. After a couple hundred book club meetings, four amazing Harry Potter parties, countless author events and 14 Holiday Magics, I have decided it is time to turn over Queen Anne Books to a new owner — someone who will bring fresh energy and ideas to a business undergoing a radical and exciting transformation.

As most of you know, I lost my husband to cancer last May and I am eager to move on and discover what the next stage of my life will hold. I initially believed I would continue to be a bookseller but, because the business is changing so much, I have realized the store requires more than I can give right now. I am hoping someone in the Queen Anne community will find the business as fulfilling and exciting as I know it can be.

The Sale:

* I am selling the business for the value of the inventory, computers and fixtures.
* My lease is up October 30, 2012 but there is a 5-year-option available.
* I am currently working very hard to settle the details of losing a husband — probate, taxes, etc. So Cindy Mitchell, who knows the business as well as I do (even though she “retired” four years ago), has volunteered to answer the initial queries into the store’s possible sale. You can reach her through the store email: QueenAnneBooks@queenannebooks.com. Please put Attn: Cindy in the subject line.

The Serious Buyer:

· Reading is essential, but you must also be an astute business person. Margins are tight in this business; skill, constant appraisal, and reappraisal are required to make a profit.

· You need to plan on working in the store. The presence of the owner in the store on a regular basis is key to the store’s financial success.

· You must be open to the expanding presence of ecommerce, ebooks and social media in the book industry.

· Plan to work hard, learn a lot, and be surrounded by an amazing community who will support you and celebrate the richness of the written word with you!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you for your many years of support. I will do my best to ensure Queen Anne
Books continues to be a vital part of this community.

Sincerely and Gratefully,

Patti McCall
Queen Anne Books


  • JBL

    Her business acumen certainly shows in the details. Although we are sorry to see Patti sell, it is totally understandable. Hopefully an experienced person will step up and uphold this respected bookstore owner’s reputation in our community. Long live QA Books!

  • JBL

    Her business acumen certainly shows in the details. Although we are sorry to see Patti sell, it is totally understandable. Hopefully an experienced person will step up and uphold this respected bookstore owner’s reputation in our community. Long live QA Books!

  • Pula

    I smell a rat. Nice try though with a sob story and all. But a bookstore? Really??

    Folks, if anybody is interested I have a blacksmith shoppe for sale too!! LOL.

    This is Seattle. Home to a little company you may have heard of – AMAZON. We are not fools here in Queen Anne. For shame.

  • Pula

    I smell a rat. Nice try though with a sob story and all. But a bookstore? Really??

    Folks, if anybody is interested I have a blacksmith shoppe for sale too!! LOL.

    This is Seattle. Home to a little company you may have heard of – AMAZON. We are not fools here in Queen Anne. For shame.

  • Julie

    Pula, not sure who you are….but the last line of your post applies to you for such an unnecessary mean spirited comment.

    QA Books is a special place with an excellent reputation. Staff has always gone the extra mile. We shop at all the places mentioned and have tablet and e-reader in the house. But for gifts and being able to pick up a book one wouldn’t have thought of without seeing it, there is still no replacement for a bookstore especially in lovely combination with coffee shop next door.

  • Julie

    Pula, not sure who you are….but the last line of your post applies to you for such an unnecessary mean spirited comment.

    QA Books is a special place with an excellent reputation. Staff has always gone the extra mile. We shop at all the places mentioned and have tablet and e-reader in the house. But for gifts and being able to pick up a book one wouldn’t have thought of without seeing it, there is still no replacement for a bookstore especially in lovely combination with coffee shop next door.

  • Rob Nachbar

    Agree with Julie. QA Books is the exemplar of what a local bookstore can bring to a community. While I buy my share of books from Amazon, I also go out of my way to buy from QA Books. And anyone who has shopped there knows why — because they have real people who understand and know your tastes. Lillian has turned me on to so many authors that I likely would never have known about. And they’ve also brought in a number of nationally recognized authors for readings and events — which in today’s increasingly homogenized retail atmosphere fosters a vibrant local community. Owning a local bookstore is obviously not for the faint of heart (nor is it going to make you rich) and as Patti points out, they will need to be more than just present for the store to succeed. It would be a sad day — and indeed our community would be the lesser for it — without QA Books. Here’s to hoping the right person steps forward to keep this fine institution in QA. Good luck Patti — you will be missed!

  • Rob Nachbar

    Agree with Julie. QA Books is the exemplar of what a local bookstore can bring to a community. While I buy my share of books from Amazon, I also go out of my way to buy from QA Books. And anyone who has shopped there knows why — because they have real people who understand and know your tastes. Lillian has turned me on to so many authors that I likely would never have known about. And they’ve also brought in a number of nationally recognized authors for readings and events — which in today’s increasingly homogenized retail atmosphere fosters a vibrant local community. Owning a local bookstore is obviously not for the faint of heart (nor is it going to make you rich) and as Patti points out, they will need to be more than just present for the store to succeed. It would be a sad day — and indeed our community would be the lesser for it — without QA Books. Here’s to hoping the right person steps forward to keep this fine institution in QA. Good luck Patti — you will be missed!

  • Dave

    Where is the blacksmith shop? Without new horseshoes my horse can not pull my buggy!

    Maybe Rob Nachbar should be the sucker who buys this “business.” Put up or shut up, Rob.

  • Dave

    Where is the blacksmith shop? Without new horseshoes my horse can not pull my buggy!

    Maybe Rob Nachbar should be the sucker who buys this “business.” Put up or shut up, Rob.

  • Bella the dog

    No one at Amazon has ever given me a treat, but I’ve gotten one every time I’ve been taken to Queen Anne Books.

  • Bella the dog

    No one at Amazon has ever given me a treat, but I’ve gotten one every time I’ve been taken to Queen Anne Books.

  • Honesty

    I’ve been to QA books, and their inventory didn’t impress. they have a few classics which i already own, but everything else is either Grisham, The cat who saw…series, and anthologies of impoverished southern women going through “the change”., and a large assortment of children’s books. I’ll make my way to Elliot Bay Books.

  • Honesty

    I’ve been to QA books, and their inventory didn’t impress. they have a few classics which i already own, but everything else is either Grisham, The cat who saw…series, and anthologies of impoverished southern women going through “the change”., and a large assortment of children’s books. I’ll make my way to Elliot Bay Books.

  • Isabella

    “amazing Harry Potter parties”

    I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

  • Isabella

    “amazing Harry Potter parties”

    I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

  • John

    I like taking my kids to QA books. It teaches them to be excited about reading and learning. They don’t get excited when we look online at an online retailer. Maybe I’m old school but I prefer to have a hardcopy book and buy from a small local retailer. I hope someone buys the store

  • John

    I like taking my kids to QA books. It teaches them to be excited about reading and learning. They don’t get excited when we look online at an online retailer. Maybe I’m old school but I prefer to have a hardcopy book and buy from a small local retailer. I hope someone buys the store

  • AJ

    I’m saddened by the negative comments, as the QA owners should be lauded for maintaining their business and contributing to our community for this long. Children’s books are one segment that will continue to thrive despite the growth of ebooks (note: I am an avid ebook reader, too), and I cannot imagine taking our child anywhere else. She loves going to the bookstore, sitting amidst the vibrant books and picking out a new one to take home.

  • AJ

    I’m saddened by the negative comments, as the QA owners should be lauded for maintaining their business and contributing to our community for this long. Children’s books are one segment that will continue to thrive despite the growth of ebooks (note: I am an avid ebook reader, too), and I cannot imagine taking our child anywhere else. She loves going to the bookstore, sitting amidst the vibrant books and picking out a new one to take home.

  • Linda

    It’s called progress, people. You can be sad all you want, while admitting you are an “avid ebook reader” and then telling someone else they should operate a money losing store in a dying industry just so your kid is happy. She should shut down the store instead of conning someone else to run it and lose their shirt.

  • Linda

    It’s called progress, people. You can be sad all you want, while admitting you are an “avid ebook reader” and then telling someone else they should operate a money losing store in a dying industry just so your kid is happy. She should shut down the store instead of conning someone else to run it and lose their shirt.

  • Judy

    I did not know bookstores still existed!

  • Judy

    I did not know bookstores still existed!

  • David

    Who knew there were so many meanies on Queen Anne?!!

  • David

    Who knew there were so many meanies on Queen Anne?!!

  • If bookstores aren’t your thing, please, just move along. No one’s asking you for anything here. Those of us who love our independent bookstores and what they do for our communities will find a way to support them and make them thrive. Patti and QAB are two of the best things that have ever happened to the Hill. I’m so grateful that instead of throwing in the towel, as so many indie bookstores are having to do, Patti is putting the word out so that someone else can step in and keep our bookstore going.

  • If bookstores aren’t your thing, please, just move along. No one’s asking you for anything here. Those of us who love our independent bookstores and what they do for our communities will find a way to support them and make them thrive. Patti and QAB are two of the best things that have ever happened to the Hill. I’m so grateful that instead of throwing in the towel, as so many indie bookstores are having to do, Patti is putting the word out so that someone else can step in and keep our bookstore going.

  • Queen Anne Books is an extraordinary place. The people who work there care about books and know their inventory (which is varied and marvelous, btw). They donate boxes and boxes of books for the Seattle7Writers pocket library program that stocks bookshelves in homeless shelters. They graciously hosted me for an author event where they contributed proceeds to breast cancer research. They create community through their events and their brick and mortar presence and they grow good readers through their excitement and knowledge about books. In marked contrast, snarky comments rarely create anything.

  • Queen Anne Books is an extraordinary place. The people who work there care about books and know their inventory (which is varied and marvelous, btw). They donate boxes and boxes of books for the Seattle7Writers pocket library program that stocks bookshelves in homeless shelters. They graciously hosted me for an author event where they contributed proceeds to breast cancer research. They create community through their events and their brick and mortar presence and they grow good readers through their excitement and knowledge about books. In marked contrast, snarky comments rarely create anything.

  • Perry

    Why I prefer books over e-readers:

    1. You can lend or give them to others.
    2. You can accidently leave them on the plane, at a hotel, or wherever without losing your mind.
    3. You can read them in the bath tub.

  • Perry

    Why I prefer books over e-readers:

    1. You can lend or give them to others.
    2. You can accidently leave them on the plane, at a hotel, or wherever without losing your mind.
    3. You can read them in the bath tub.

  • Truth

    How is selling the store not the same as throwing in the towel?

    You would have to be a complete idiot to buy a bookstore today.

  • Truth

    How is selling the store not the same as throwing in the towel?

    You would have to be a complete idiot to buy a bookstore today.

  • Judy

    I hope nobody buys it and we get a nicer store.

    How pathetic that the bookstore lady must have emailed her friends for support. Three positive comments all showed up in under an hour? Days after this was written? Sneaky, sneaky!!

  • Judy

    I hope nobody buys it and we get a nicer store.

    How pathetic that the bookstore lady must have emailed her friends for support. Three positive comments all showed up in under an hour? Days after this was written? Sneaky, sneaky!!

  • Jim

    That’s not sneaky, it’s called getting by with a little help from your friends. Nothing wrong with that. Ugly thoughts and comments come from ugly people with ugly lives. People who make such mean spirited comments about complete strangers who put themselves out there for a little help need to be straightened out. Good lord people. Heaven forbid you ever need help someday.

  • Jim

    That’s not sneaky, it’s called getting by with a little help from your friends. Nothing wrong with that. Ugly thoughts and comments come from ugly people with ugly lives. People who make such mean spirited comments about complete strangers who put themselves out there for a little help need to be straightened out. Good lord people. Heaven forbid you ever need help someday.

  • Carol Cassella

    Dallas, Texas now has ZERO independent bookstores. That is one of the reasons I live in Seattle. QA books, like Eagle Harbor Bookstore, Liberty Bay Bookstore, Secret Garden, Third Place, University Bookstore, and dozens of others, put a human face on book selling. Without them the books that would be recommended and readily available would be chosen by a computer algorithm for the sole purpose of making a big company rich. No, don’t go into the Indie book business if you want the highest possible income, but if that is what drives all our commercial space decisions we will be a land of Wal Marts. I was not asked to write this, but I was willing to sign my actual name. Always interesting to me that the most negative online comments are allowed to be anonymous. (maybe they all come from the same mean person).

  • Carol Cassella

    Dallas, Texas now has ZERO independent bookstores. That is one of the reasons I live in Seattle. QA books, like Eagle Harbor Bookstore, Liberty Bay Bookstore, Secret Garden, Third Place, University Bookstore, and dozens of others, put a human face on book selling. Without them the books that would be recommended and readily available would be chosen by a computer algorithm for the sole purpose of making a big company rich. No, don’t go into the Indie book business if you want the highest possible income, but if that is what drives all our commercial space decisions we will be a land of Wal Marts. I was not asked to write this, but I was willing to sign my actual name. Always interesting to me that the most negative online comments are allowed to be anonymous. (maybe they all come from the same mean person).

  • David

    Sentence one:
    “Ugly thoughts and comments come from ugly people with ugly lives.”

    Sentence two.
    “People who make such mean spirited comments about complete strangers who put themselves out there for a little help need to be straightened out.”

    Christ, I don’t even know where to begin.

  • David

    Sentence one:
    “Ugly thoughts and comments come from ugly people with ugly lives.”

    Sentence two.
    “People who make such mean spirited comments about complete strangers who put themselves out there for a little help need to be straightened out.”

    Christ, I don’t even know where to begin.

  • David

    Carol, you moved to the wrong town. The reason there are no bookstores in Dallas is because of one little company all your neighbors probably work for…. it’s called Amazon!!

    You are a hypocrite for loving Seattle while hating the company that makes this city great. What’s next, whining about too many Starbucks on every corner?

  • David

    Carol, you moved to the wrong town. The reason there are no bookstores in Dallas is because of one little company all your neighbors probably work for…. it’s called Amazon!!

    You are a hypocrite for loving Seattle while hating the company that makes this city great. What’s next, whining about too many Starbucks on every corner?

  • Susan

    “chosen by a computer algorithm for the sole purpose of making a big company rich”

    Wow. Nice way to insult 40,000 fellow Seattle residents.

    Move back to Texas, lady.

  • Susan

    “chosen by a computer algorithm for the sole purpose of making a big company rich”

    Wow. Nice way to insult 40,000 fellow Seattle residents.

    Move back to Texas, lady.

  • Leonora

    Carol Cassella,

    Go clear some brush.

  • Leonora

    Carol Cassella,

    Go clear some brush.

  • Register Names

    Shut it down and donate the books to Goodwill.

  • Register Names

    Shut it down and donate the books to Goodwill.

  • Leonora

    Or just have a book burning!! We could all dress up like Amazon employees!

  • Leonora

    Or just have a book burning!! We could all dress up like Amazon employees!

  • I love Queen Ann bookstore. The people are great and they really help you find the best books. If your not into books fine go to your ereaders but to be totally rude about it is disgusting. Some of us really like the independent bookstores. Have a book burning? How ignorant are you! We dont need your rude comments.

  • I love Queen Ann bookstore. The people are great and they really help you find the best books. If your not into books fine go to your ereaders but to be totally rude about it is disgusting. Some of us really like the independent bookstores. Have a book burning? How ignorant are you! We dont need your rude comments.

  • The Peltins

    Patty, we were so sorry to hear your husband passed away. We had not been aware. We were also terribly sad to hear you will be leaving Queen Anne Books and hope that someone buys it. We hope that person will be able to maintain your high standards. Your shop is absolutely charming, and we have always enjoyed coming in. Where will I buy my book group books now?? Our family fondly remembers the Harry Potter parties, which exemplified the community spirit of QAB.

  • The Peltins

    Patty, we were so sorry to hear your husband passed away. We had not been aware. We were also terribly sad to hear you will be leaving Queen Anne Books and hope that someone buys it. We hope that person will be able to maintain your high standards. Your shop is absolutely charming, and we have always enjoyed coming in. Where will I buy my book group books now?? Our family fondly remembers the Harry Potter parties, which exemplified the community spirit of QAB.

  • Blue

    Wow, I am astounded by the incredibly mean-spirited comments people have left. Probably all the same troll. The owner is selling after LOSING HER HUSBAND, people. Have some decency. Jeez. People like you are what is wrong with the world. I don’t care if you like e-readers or Amazon or whatever, but there is just no need to leave comments like that.

    I don’t live on QA but I love QA Books and wish the owner well. I hope she finds a buyer who will continue to make this business a great part of the QA community.

  • Blue

    Wow, I am astounded by the incredibly mean-spirited comments people have left. Probably all the same troll. The owner is selling after LOSING HER HUSBAND, people. Have some decency. Jeez. People like you are what is wrong with the world. I don’t care if you like e-readers or Amazon or whatever, but there is just no need to leave comments like that.

    I don’t live on QA but I love QA Books and wish the owner well. I hope she finds a buyer who will continue to make this business a great part of the QA community.

  • Cathy Michalec

    Dear Readers of the Queen Anne View,
    I love the QA bookstore and the wonderful friends who work there. QA bookstore is part of our community and Patti is a very giving, generous person. She is a supporter of many non-profits, community groups and QA Little League Teams. THE QA bookstore is a gem on the hill. It saddens me that writers of some of the rude comments hide behind first names or nicknames. Would you be so bolden to say this to the employees of the QA book store. I hope Patti never sees your mean and rude comments as she has enough to deal with losing her husband and selling her store. Let’s have some compassion for each other.
    peace.
    Cathy Michalec

  • Cathy Michalec

    Dear Readers of the Queen Anne View,
    I love the QA bookstore and the wonderful friends who work there. QA bookstore is part of our community and Patti is a very giving, generous person. She is a supporter of many non-profits, community groups and QA Little League Teams. THE QA bookstore is a gem on the hill. It saddens me that writers of some of the rude comments hide behind first names or nicknames. Would you be so bolden to say this to the employees of the QA book store. I hope Patti never sees your mean and rude comments as she has enough to deal with losing her husband and selling her store. Let’s have some compassion for each other.
    peace.
    Cathy Michalec

  • Liz K

    Wow, there are certainly a lot of ‘trolls’ attracted to the blog nowadays! I say we ignore them.

  • Liz K

    Wow, there are certainly a lot of ‘trolls’ attracted to the blog nowadays! I say we ignore them.

  • Jen

    I love QA books and hope the bookstore will continue. I am pretty shocked at what thoughtless cruel people have posted. They obviously have no idea what they are talking about and have never been into the store.

  • Jen

    I love QA books and hope the bookstore will continue. I am pretty shocked at what thoughtless cruel people have posted. They obviously have no idea what they are talking about and have never been into the store.