Port Townsend bookstores to merge as Writer’s Workshoppe buys Imprint Books; new business expected in March
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Writers’ Workshoppe owners Peter Quinn, left, and Anna Quinn have purchased Imprint Books and will consolidate the two stores into a community bookstore in Port Townsend. — Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Two bookshops are joining forces as the owners of a five-year-old store acquire the location and inventory of another whose owners are retiring.

The result is a haven for paper books at a time when online sources are prompting the closures of many small bookstores nationwide.

Anna and Peter Quinn, who own the Writers’ Workshoppe at 234 Taylor St., have purchased Imprint Books at 820 Water St., from David and Judy Hartman, who ran the store for 30 years.

The intent is to bring the best of both stores together to provide a full-service bookstore along with Writers’ Workshoppe’s combination of gifts and workshops for writers, the Quinns said.

“This will be a general bookstore that is curated in its own unique way and will have all the books that Imprint customers will expect,” Anna said.

The Quinns hope to open in the new location by March 1 and will close the Taylor Street store a few days before the move, Peter said.

The new store, which will at first be called The Writers’ Workshoppe and Imprint Books, will be open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day,

“We are adding to what we are doing,” Peter added.

“We are not taking away from what Imprint is doing.

“We will meet the needs of all the readers in town, and will succeed because independent bookstores are making a comeback,” he continued.

The new store will have about 10,000 books.

“We will create a space for people to meet, which is how we will beat the Internet,” Anna said.

“It will be a sanctuary, a place for people to gather and talk about their interests and what they are reading.”

Writers’ Workshoppe began as a specialty bookstore for writers but expanded its offerings when it moved into its current location three years ago from where it started, in a loft above Imprint.

Upon moving to Taylor Street it continued the writer’s focus — it has more than 700 different titles about the craft of writing — and also sold new and used books that fit the Quinns’ tastes and preferences.

Instead of traditional bookstore categories, the store grouped its books by theme or subject.

The Quinns are continuing offering writers’ seminars, taking over what is now the children’s room at Imprint.

A smaller adjacent room will house children’s books and story hours.

And while they began as a store for writers, it was a natural progression to serve writers’ reading needs, Peter said.

There is no way that a small store can compete with a Barnes and Noble in terms of selection, so the selling point becomes quality over quantity, the Quinns believe.

The Quinns said that the Hartmans approached them to buy Imprint Books when they wanted to retire.

In a written statement, the Hartmans said: “Port Townsend is a great community for books and bookselling and we wish the Quinns much success in carrying on this tradition.

“We’ll always be grateful for the years of patronage by our visitors and regular local and widespread regional customers.”

Peter, a published poet, also is the executive director of Team Jefferson, CEO of Quimper Mercantile and was an unsuccessful candidate for Port of Port Townsend commissioner in 2013.

Anna just completed a novel and is recruiting an agent.

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Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 07. 2014 6:37PM
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