The King's English

The King's English : Adventures of an Independent Bookseller

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Betsy Burton, owner of The King's English bookstore in Salt Lake City, has been a bookseller for nearly thirty years, and a passionate book lover all her life. Her modestly sized, yet widely respected, shop has hosted authors such as E. L. Doctorow, Isabel Allende, John Updike, Margaret Atwood, and Sue Grafton, and she has built a reputation as a passionate purveyor of the written word in a world where stores like her's are a dying breed. Burton now shares her story, including the amusing trials and triumphs of author visits, attempts at censorship, the modern business of bookselling, and the complexities of staying afloat as an independent in the world of chains and superstores. Burton also offers dozens of "Top 25" reading lists on a multitude of topics, from psychology to poetry, fiction, business, and the best banned books. Burton has also painstakingly collected favorite reading lists from the best independent bookstores throughout the country, including the Tattered Cover in Denver and Powell's Books in Portland, sharing what some of the best-read folks in the country currently can't put down. Filled with wit, passion, and a strikingly independent message, Burton's story will delight booklovers of all kinds. Betsy Burton is the owner of The King's English Bookstore, founded in 1977 in Salt Lake City. An avid reader and lover of literature, she is passionate about keeping independent bookstores alive and well in the world. She was named bookseller of the year in 2001 by Mountains and Plains Booksellers Association, has done countless book reviews for radio, television, and print media, and writes for and edits The Inkslinger, a literary more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 182.88 x 231.14 x 30.48mm | 907.18g
  • Gibbs M. Smith Inc
  • Layton, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, ports
  • 1586856871
  • 9781586856878
  • 2,426,786

Back cover copy

"This is a book of passion, of intellectual integrity, of right ethics--the fascinating story of a woman living a life that has made an indelible difference to all of us who read." --Mark Spragg, Author of An Unfinished Life "The King's English: Adventures of an Independent Bookseller is for book lovers inside or outside the book business." --Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Bookstore "Part memoir, part literary history, part social commentary, this book is a smart and insightful look at life inside an independent bookstore." --Terry Tempest Williams, Author of The Open Space of Democracy "Of its kind, and for all it tells us of today's literary world, Burton's revealing, riveting book has no rival." --Jeannette Haien, Author of The All of Itshow more

Flap copy

Betsy Burton opened The King's English Bookstore in 1977 with then-partner Ann Berman. When Berman left in 1981, Burton ran the store alone (with the help of many excellent booksellers) until 1987 when Barbara Hoagland became a partner. In operation for twenty-seven years, The King's English is well-known and respected in the local community as well as the community of independent bookstores nationwide. Actively involved in the community, Betsy has served on various literacy, academic, and community boards. Her store helped found the poetry series that ultimately became "The Westminster Poetry Series," which brought many internationally known poets to Utah, and was a founding board member of "Booked: Books Behind Bars," a program to develop literacy in the city jail. As a parent of a child with multiple disabilities, she has also spent many years serving on boards dealing with disabilities. Betsy regularly writes Book Sense blurbs; does weekly radio reviews on Utah's local NPR station, KUER; and gives book talks and presentations for various professional and community groups. She is also the co-author and co-editor of the Inkslinger, a newsletter now nationally known in the book business. She presently serves on the American Booksellers Association Advisory Council and was awarded Bookseller of the Year by the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Association in 2001. The story of The King's English is, on its surface, the history of a small, independent bookstore. But it is much more than that. The story is interwoven with charming anecdotes of author visits, from the inspiring to the hilarious. Among the dozens of stories, the author recounts her almost-disastrous dinner party given for Isabel Allende, the delightful visit of Sir John Mortimer, and the gossip-inducing reading by John Irving. She also offers insight into the complexities of customer relations and the trials of making it as an independent in the world of chains and superstores. And she talks frankly on subjects from the intrinsic value of poetry in society to the threat of censorship. A highlight of the book is the numerous recommended reading lists, on topics from mystery to self-help to poetry, from fiction to westerns to business to children's. The book also includes recommended reading lists from other well-loved independent bookstores across the country. Filled with wit, passion, a lively voice, and strong opinions, The King's English: Adventures of a Passionate Bookseller is the ultimate book lover's book and a refreshing tale of standing up for what you believe more

Rating details

287 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 23% (65)
4 40% (115)
3 30% (87)
2 6% (16)
1 1% (4)
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