Shelf for shelf, The King’s English is the best bookstore I’ve ever been in.
—E. L. Doctorow
Our philosophy at The King’s English has always been a simple one: pick good books, pass them on. We, like all independent booksellers, are besotted by books, but we have long since learned that the love of books in and of itself isn’t enough: that passion must be coupled with a thoroughgoing knowledge of business practices. Our skills in that area have been acquired, shaped, and honed out of necessity over the years as the onslaught of chains and then the Internet has forced us to reinvent ourselves again and again. In so doing we have examined and re-examined our practices and our core values, deciding what to change and what to cling to.
This is what we cling to at The King’s English: creation of an environment that welcomes readers, an inventory carefully selected to fit the tastes of those readers, staff-wide ability to match our books to precisely those readers who will like them, and active engagement with both our local community and the larger community of independent booksellers. We put most of our effort, our money, and our planning into weaving these skills and priorities into an organic whole; taken together, they define us and have insured our survival over the 33 years of our existence. Readers trust us, have faith in both our stock and our recommendations, and feel not just welcome but cherished in our store; we have carved out an important place for ourselves (and for all local business) in our community, and local businesses look to us for leadership on issues that impact us all; and we participate actively in the wider world of bookselling. We believe that this is a recipe not just for a successful bookstore but for a happy (and meaningful) existence. We love what we do at The King’s English and none of us can imagine a better life.
The King's English Bookshop, located in a residential neighborhood of Salt Lake City, Utah, is a store of 2000 square feet housed in eight small rooms, each chock-full of books.