Santa Cruz Bookstore To Receive Funds From Patterson

Feb 20, 2014
Originally published on February 20, 2014 11:55 am
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And one of the bookstores on James Patterson's list is Bookshop Santa Cruz.

CASEY COONERTY: We're located in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz.

INSKEEP: That's Casey Coonerty, the owner of the bookstore.

COONERTY: I took over from my father about eight years ago. So we're a second-generation bookstore.

INSKEEP: And in the store's 40 years, the Coonertys has had to face down more than their share of challenges.

COONERTY: In 1989 there was a major earthquake that hit and it destroyed about 75 percent of downtown Santa Cruz. And Bookshop Santa Cruz was completely destroyed.


For the next three years, the Coonertys sold books out of a tent in a parking lot until they could finally move back into their space. A few years after that, a Borders opened on the street and sales dropped by 30 percent. Then came another competitor.

COONERTY: Obviously Amazon, and what a huge player they are in our market, is really challenging for independent bookstores.

MONTAGNE: And then there are e-books.

COONERTY: Eight years ago, nobody was talking about e-books. And now you think that e-books takes about 30 percent of the market. So independent bookstores have really had to learn to adapt.

MONTAGNE: And one way to adapt is by redefining customer service. Coonerty now presents dozens of author events every year.

COONERTY: Michael Pollan and Isabel Allende or Ann Patchett or Bill Bryson. We have Lorrie Moore and her new short story collection. And we have David Sibley...

INSKEEP: Some of the events they're put on. Now, last fall, when Casey heard what James Patterson was doing, she applied for $4,500 to bring children's authors to local schools and the store. And she got the money.

COONERTY: We are just ecstatic that we got that grant. And it's going to make such a difference.

INSKEEP: That's Casey Coonerty, owner of Bookshop Santa Cruz and one of the recipients of funding from author James Patterson's million-dollar initiative to help independent booksellers.

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.