In 2021 I returned to Utah and Salt Lake City after 25 plus years in Northern California. My husband and I returned to take over The King’s English Bookshop’s founder Betsy Burton’s share in the store. TKE inspired me to seek a career in bookselling throughout the Bay Area and Sacramento. I worked for Books Inc. throughout the Bay Area and Book Passage. I opened stores for both of them across the years, including Book Passage at the San Francisco Ferry Building. Underground Books in the Oak Park Neighborhood of Sacramento, a black-owned and nonprofit bookstore, was incredibly transformative in my year there. I also worked as the Sales and Marketing Director for McSweeney’s publishing house. I spent the last 7 years before I left as the Executive Director of the California Independent Booksellers Alliance.
I grew up partially in Utah County and Magna. No matter where we lived, books were my everything and reinforced that there was more out there than the small piece of sky out my bedroom window. In my late teens, I discovered TKE (plus Ken Sanders and Weller’s), a store focused on new books and knowledgeable and kind staff. TKE embodies the spirit of Indie Bookstores, a place where like-minded people can gather and support their local community and local economy. As a darker-skinned gay young person, I found my safe place within those eight magical rooms. I am honored, humbled and grateful that the road circled back to the space that instilled my passion for Independent Bookstores and locally owned businesses. Brain Food Books, our new nonprofit member of the TKE family, will put new books into the hands of kids that may not have access to them. On a personal note, I hope it will honor all the teachers, librarians, reading coaches, and educators that encouraged and normalized reading for me.