We asked book buyer Jeanne Costello, who chooses which books Maria’s Bookshop will carry, about the book market in Durango.
What kind of books are most popular here?
A lot of regionally-specific stuff; regional guide books, western literature and history, books about mountain men and women who lived in mining camps. We’re also a very athletic and sports-minded community, so books about cycling. We’re environmentally conscious; our travel, adventure and nature writing sections are always solid. Writers like Edward Abbey, Terry Tempest Williams. Durangoans like reading about people who have taken off on the road doing crazy, adventurous things in unheard of places.
Is there anything you couldn’t sell here?
I have to say, people don’t ask for a lot of Danielle Steele. I don’t think I’ve ever ordered her books. I’m not proud or snotty – I’m happy to help people read whatever they want. But some books that show up on the [New York Times] best-seller list that you can get at the grocery market for 30 percent off ... our customer base is just not looking for that in our shop.
What’s the deal with Durango book clubs?
They’re all self-generated, but they can register with Maria’s and we’ll have 15 percent discounted books available to them. Over 100 groups are currently registered. Some are more active than others; there’s an ebb and flow. But we try to connect people looking for reading groups, and send names to those groups who are open to new members. The Women’s Resource Center has an open reading group, though most of the others are much more intimate.
Two local books that are great: “American Climber” by Luke Mehall and the “National Park Mystery Series” by Scott Graham. You should also check out “Thing Explainer” by Randall Munroe; it tells you how things work in the most commonly-used words of the English language. Great diagrams, funny and enlightening!
Anya Jaremko-GreenwoldDGO Staff Writer