A silver celebration at the Book Stop

Bookstop owner Soon Hood is surrounded by hand picked collections of books at her Front Street location. The store is celebrating it’s 25th year in business. - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
Bookstop owner Soon Hood is surrounded by hand picked collections of books at her Front Street location. The store is celebrating it’s 25th year in business.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

POULSBO — Little Norway’s Book Stop is turning a chapter in its business life, and marking an impressive feat.

The used bookstore is celebrating 25 years at the end of this month. The Book Stop has been serving local and visiting book lovers since Megan Holmberg set up shop in 1983.

“We started out in a small space in the old Blue Sky Printing building,” Holmberg said. “My family and I just moved to Poulsbo and my kids were 5 and 7 and I always read a lot and wanted to do something, so I decided to open a used bookstore.”

That small space was quickly outgrown, and within three years the Book Stop landed in its current Front Street locale, just across from the Verkstad Gallery. Now it’s in the hands of Soon Hood, after Holmberg retired nearly two years ago.

“It’s been a wonderful business,” Holmberg said, admitting though she may be biased, she thinks “it’s a real asset for the town.”

Hood, who previously worked at the shop as an employee, said the occasion is truly a cause for celebration.

“It’s really unusual in this day and age for used bookstores to last this long,” she said. “This is really a milestone for us to be here this long.”

The recipe for success: a mixture of a local population that enjoys books, tourist traffic and incoming boaters looking for a good read. Front Street, in the heart of historic downtown near the bay, certainly “makes for a great location for a bookstore,” she said.

Locals have come to enjoy the store’s trade system, which allows them to hand in their own tomes for cash or credit toward a future purchase.

From first edition collectibles and out-of-prints to recent bestselling favorites, the Book Stop isn’t shy on selection. Scandinavia and Americana literature, classics, history, suspense, adventure and intrigue top off the many topics available. Each book, Hood said, is individually valued and in impressive shape.

“While they’re in my company I want to keep them in good condition,” she said, adding, “I’m not really in a big hurry to sell them off. I feel like they’re my children.”

Hood said the shop accepts a stock of books shoppers are happy with. Often, visitors are surprised they’re second hand, she said. People visiting Poulsbo from all over the country — including one Saturday Night Live cast favorite — have come to call on the Book Stop during each of their visits. The store is set up so shoppers can easily find just what they’re searching for, but those who have the time will find it a place with plenty of treasures to scavenge.

Hood said she’s simply tried to improve on the landmark establishment Holmberg created.

“She (Holmberg) did such a fabulous job of building this to what it is,” Hood said. “I think it’s become an anchor. This book store has become a fixture here.”

And while she may have decided to retire, Holmberg said she’s not done with the shop just yet: “I am a good customer,” she said.

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