Books Inc. Named PW’s 2016 Bookstore of the Year

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Books Inc.has won this year’s Publishers Weekly Bookstore of the Year Award. In an announcement on Wednesday, PW also named the Karel/Dutton Group’s Lise Solomon as its 2016 Rep of the Year.

Books Inc. — which at 165 years old claims the title of “Oldest Bookstore in the West” — is co-owned by Michael Tucker, a past president of the American Booksellers Association; his wife, Margie Scott Tucker; Nikolai Grant; and his wife, Shannon Grant. It is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and currently operates 11 general interest bookstores staffed by 200 employees.Two of the stores, operating under the name Compass Books, are located in San Francisco International Airport.

In June, Books Inc. is scheduled to open a 4,000-square-foot store in Silicon Valley and to close its location in San Francisco’s Castro District when the store’s lease is up.

In her nominating letter, Donna Paz Kaufman of the bookstore training and consulting group Paz & Associates called Tucker “one of our best, most skilled, professional, and optimistic bookstore entrepreneurs in retail bookselling,” saying that he and his team have shown they care about “the importance of bricks-and-mortar bookstores for our industry and the quality of life in our communities.”

According to Kaufman’s letter, “Books Inc. stands as not only a model for retail bookselling, its history proves the value of resilience, creativity, persistence, and teamwork.”

PW’s Rep of the Year, Solomon, a commission rep, serves on the board of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association and was cited by Bookshop Santa Cruz buyer Melinda Powers in her recommendation letter as one of the early supporters of surprise 2010 Pulitzer-winner Tinkers (Bellevue Literary Press).

The PW winners will receive their awards in May at BookExpo America 2016 and will also be featured in the April 18 pre-BEA issue of Publishers Weekly magazine.