Ep 7: Sam Kaas, Village Books

Welcome, friends, to episode 7 of Drunk Booksellers! We’re here with Sam Kaas, Events Coordinator at Village Books in Bellingham, WA.



Bitches in Bookshops

Our theme music, Bitches in Bookshops, comes to us with permission from Annabelle Quezada

Introduction   [0:30]

In Which We Reminisce About the Good Ol’ Days and Emma Only Has Time to Read Books About Productivity

Currently drinking: Left Hand Milk Stout from Longmont, Colorado.

Emma’s reading The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home by Catherynne M. Valente, The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God & Other Stories by Etgar Keret, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande (also mentioned: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson, Naked Money: A Revealing Look at What It Is and Why It Matters by Charles Wheelan)


Sam’s reading Clinch by Martin Holmen (pubs 7 June), Goodnight, Beautiful Women by Anna Noyes, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth L. Ozeki


Kim’s reading Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens by Steve Olson, A Life Apart by Neel Mukherjee (also mentioned: The Lives of Others), Curb Stomp by Ryan Ferrier


New/forthcoming books we’re excited about:

  Chapter I   [18:04]

In Which We Discuss Radioactive Bookworms, Lawnmowers, and What Makes a Good Event



Chuck Robinson wrote a book about opening Village Books & Paper DreamsIt Takes a Village Books: 30 Years of Building Community, 1 Book at a Time

Shout out to Watermark Books in Anacortes, WA.

Another shout out to Third Place Books (opening a new store this year in Seward Park).

If Tom Robbins requests a pocket road map of Venezuela, don’t question it, just get him one.

Len Vlahos is a rockstar. Here’s proof:


Shit. Wrong image. I meant this:


See? Rockstar. I mean, he’s also a bestselling author and co-owns a little store in Denver, CO called The Tattered Cover. NBD.

In other celebrity news, check out Chuckanut Radio Hour.

Our favorite events tip: People shouldn’t be calling to ask if there’s an author event tonight, they should be calling to ask what the event tonight is. (hat tip to the fine folk at Elliott Bay Book Company [Kim pumps her fists in victory, even though she has absolutely nothing to do with events at EBBC])

Originally posted by mtv


So, yeah, you should check out Village Books’ event schedule, ‘cause it’s pretty great.

Chapter II   [33:37]

In Which Sam Builds Us His Wheelhouse, Discusses e-Reading, and

Emma and Kim think dedicated e-readers are necessary for e-reading. You can buy one here


[sign from @wordbookstores​]

Kim can’t count. “A novel trying to answer big difficult questions and not necessarily succeeding but at least giving it a go.” = 19 words, not 16, but Sam still succeeded in the 20 Word Wheelhouse Challenge


Emma will read anything blurbed by Kelly Link. Sam will read things blurbed or compared to George Saunders or Sara Vowell. Also books about musicians. (Emma recs Rob Sheffield. Kim recs Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein)

Chapter III   [43:25]

In Which We Discuss Book Problems in the Apocalypse, Kim & Emma Learn About Cities in Canada, and Sam & Emma Get In a Fight

Sam’s Station Eleven book: Ulysses by James Joyce, assuming Shakespeare has been saved by wandering bands of theater nerds

Sam’s Wild book: Lyrics & Poems 1997-2012 by John K. Samson (songwriter, rhythm guitarist, & singer of The Weakerthans)

Emma and Kim are embarrassingly uninformed about Canadian geography, so in case anyone was wondering, here’s Winnipeg:


Sam’s Reader Confession (a la Bookrageous, Episode 85): Sam believes he might be the only millennial to not finish the Harry Potter series. Emma has lost all respect for Sam. We move on (kind of).


Sam’s go-to handsells: City of Thieves by David Benioff and The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter

Sam’s impossible handsell: A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

Epilogue   [53:50]

In Which Sam Has Never Met a Bookstore He Hasn’t Liked and Discusses His Luddite Cynic Award

Sam’s favorite bookstore (aside from Village Books): Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, WA

Sam’s favorite literary media: LitHub, BookRiot, The Paris Review’s Art of Fiction interviews, and old-school physical magazines (such as The New Yorker)

Despite the fact that Sam has the Luddite Cynic Award hanging on his fridge and is the last bookseller on Earth not on Twitter, you can hang out with Sam and his mom on Facebook. Or email Sam at sam@villagebooks.com.

UPDATE: Just before we posted this episode, Sam made himself a Twitter account. Go welcome him.

You should probably follow us on Twitter @drunkbookseller if you’re not doing so already. We’re pretty okay.

Emma tweets @thebibliot and writes nerdy bookish things for Book Riot. Kim tweets every few months or so at @finaleofseem.

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