March 13, 2013

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One for the Books

Devin Felix

March 13, 2013

When you enter The King’s English Bookshop, you’re greeted by the welcoming chime of a set of bells that hang from the door—the same bells that have hung from the door of the Sugar House store since it opened more than 35 years ago.

They may be only bells, but they represent the kind of consistency and character that have made The King’s English a beloved community fixture since it opened in September 1977. In an age of e-books and online retail giants such as Amazon, The King’s English remains the go-to bookseller for many of Utah’s devoted readers.

General Manager Anne Holman says the store continues to succeed because, to its customers, it’s more than just a retailer. It’s a source of intelligent book recommendations and discussion, a venue for literary events and a cozy place to spend an hour or two.

The King’s English helps facilitate book clubs and offers discounts to club members who buy from the store. It also hosts dozens of events each month, including frequent visits by authors on national book tours, as well as local authors. “We’re lucky in Utah to have so many good authors that live here and write,” Holman says. “We feel compelled and we think it’s important to support them, to sell their books and launch their books.”

One such author is Jessica Day George, who lives in Salt Lake City and writes children’s and young adult fantasy novels. George has held book launch parties at The King’s English for all eight of her books and says she has never been disappointed in the events.

Danielle Lail, who recommended The King’s English on the Utah Business Facebook page, says the store’s employees set the store apart. “The staff always has recommendations for you based on the type of books you like to read,” Lail writes. “They take the time to talk to you when you walk in. I feel like it is my neighborhood bookstore, even though I don’t live in the neighborhood.”

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