I had the great pleasure of both meeting and recently interviewing indie bookseller Heidi Erdahl of the Magic Mouse Toys in Seattle. The store is located in the historic, underground part of Seattle, home to many restored, spacious buildings.
Heidi is, among other things, responsible for the store's children's book collection, which is sizeable, taking up almost half of their basement level floor. The store is owned by Pam and Walt Powers, who have run the store for "thirty plus" years. Heidi loves meeting with the books reps that come to the store, studying the catalogs and making book selections based on what she knows her customers will enjoy. She says the classics continue to be big sellers, as well as the poetry books for children.
Heidi is currently getting more acquainted with the 'tween genre, reading Gossip Girls and some of the newer titles. When pressed for her favorite author, and I did have to squeeze a bit, she said she was a big fan of Kate DiCamillo's. Excellent taste!
Her favorite indie bookstore is Powell's in Portland-- and I hope we get time this month to feature them as well. That place is truly a reader's mecca.
I asked Heidi if she'd ever want to own her own bookstore, and she says she goes back and forth on that. She knows first hand how much work it is, but thinks it would be a great life experience. She's been with Magic Mouse for twelve years and loves her work-- loves all the variety and fitting the right book to the right customer.
Her favorite customer is "um, the polite kind". :-)
Magic Mouse Toys
603 1ST Ave
Seattle, WA 98104-2209
Phone: (206) 682-8097
Website? These great folks are busy hand selling books and haven't yet set one. Gosh, I guess we'll just have to go to Seattle and visit in person.
Thanks, Heidi-- it was great talking to you! And, big thanks to Tracy Patterson for recommending the Magic Mouse!
Mary & Robin
Violet Tour 2008