Elaine Petrocelli owns the store with her husband, Bill. I remember one of the times when I toured there I was so excited to find that they had made my current book a staff pick and were prominently displaying beside the registers. Elaine is a petite, energetic woman, intelligent and fun to talk to. (And I'm not just saying that because of the staff pick bit.) I remember that one of her kids went to college with the author Eric Garcia. She believes publishers do a disservice to their authors, touring them right when the book has come out, when no one has had a chance to hear of it. She thinks they should wait a few months to let the possible reading audience become familiar with it.
I tried to talk her into the idea that she and I were practically related, seeing as how my mother-in-law's maiden name is Pieruccini, but she didn't really go for it.
Over the years Book Passage has sold more than three million books and hosted more than 6,000 author events. In addition, more than 600 writing classes and conferences have been held at the bookstore, "introducing at least 5,000 students to the book business and helping them start on a writing career," according to the latest edition of the store's newsletter, Book Passage News & Reviews.
Now a big box store is moving into the neighborhood. (Full disclosure: I hope no one goes there.)