Mel Sanders

Mel Sanders of Cover to Cover Books.

After a fire destroyed part of her stock and forced a building-wide remodeling project, Cover to Cover Books moved to its new quarters at 6300 NE St. James Road in Vancouver.

Owner Mel Sanders discussed how she ended up in the book business, the difference between a local bookstore and online sellers, and – of course – her favorite books.

Here’s a recap of the fire:

On Oct. 14, a couple of women from a neighboring business dashed into Cover to Cover Books and asked Sanders if they could borrow a fire extinguisher. In 10 minutes, the building built in 1928 was belching smoke.

Sanders saved her cat, her computer and her cash register.

Out of approximately 30,000 books, 300 titles were completely lost along with a handful of bookshelves that were destroyed by water damage. Another couple thousand books suffered diminished value and most of the upholstered furniture was destroyed. The espresso machine had electrical until power to the building was cut off and may have drawn in smoke. Instead of offering smoked-flavored coffee, the machine received a complete overhaul.

Sanders said she had a great landlord, a great location, and a great following, but when the reconstruction launched, the space – which had originally housed three businesses – was now slated for four. The reduced quarters meant a narrower perspective and inventory shifts, or a search for an alternative location.

Listen to the audio interview and learn which New York Times bestselling author initially instigated the bookstore adventure, discover what transpired April Fools, and find out why dusting your books is a very bad habit.

For more information
Cover to Cover Books and Espresso
6300 NE St. James Road, Suite 104B
Vancouver 98663

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