big news in Bellingham

November 21, 2016

Village Books

Following is the full text of an email that arrived last night from Chuck and Dee Robinson:

On January 1st, 2017, the ownership of Village Books and Paper Dreams will transfer to three current employees of the business. While the news may come as a bit of a surprise, we assure you that the time is right for us to pass on the company to the next generation. There has been a net gain of independent bookstores in each of the last seven years, including our expansion to Lynden. Our business is doing well in Fairhaven and we’re thrilled with the success of the Lynden store. And, most important, we have the right team in place to carry this business forward. They not only have the talent and skills to operate the business, they are deeply committed to the community values on which this company has been built.

Kelly, who has been with the store for five and a half years, brings many years of general retail, buying, and interior design experience, and has worked in three other independent bookstores since 1989. She, in addition to her general management duties, has been the Gift Buyer and Merchandise Manager. Paul, who came to the company at that same time, first as the Community Outreach Director then becoming General Manager, was for fifteen years the Manager of Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island. Before that he worked for several years in bookstores in Illinois and in the Seattle area. Sarah began her bookselling career after college, becoming an inventory specialist for Borders. She came to Village Books and Paper Dreams eleven years ago and has been the store manager for more than seven years. Until recently she was also the children’s book buyer.

Dee retired from everyday involvement in the stores two years ago but has continued to be involved in all strategic decisions. Chuck, who in the past few years has worked more from his home office and in the larger community, will continue to consult with the stores over the next several years and direct special projects. He also intends to do some business consulting with bookstores and other retail businesses around the country. Both of us will continue our involvement with the Chuckanut Radio Hour.

We’re both in good health and we want to spend more time traveling, working in community organizations, enjoying our new home in Lynden, and reading the books we’ve stockpiled over the years. Dee has even begun to take up gardening.

A combination reception for the new owners and farewell for Chuck and Dee will take place at the Fairhaven store on Saturday, February 4, 2017, and at the Lynden location on Sunday, February 5. Kelly, Paul, and Sarah will also hold a series of meet-and-greets over coffee and pastries in Book Fare Café at Village Books in Fairhaven, and at Avenue Bread in Lynden during the month of February. Dates will be announced on the website and in email newsletters.

We will be eternally grateful to you for the support you’ve given us over the years and for helping us build a community of readers. We know you’ll continue to support Kelly, Paul, and Sarah as they continue to build community, one book at a time.


Chuck and Dee
Village Books and Paper Dreams
360-671-2626 • 800-392-BOOK (2665)

more Noisy Water!

March 22, 2016

Noisy Water 2016

Other Mind Press has announced an expanded calendar of readings for Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington. Selected poets from the 101-poet anthology will be reading at each of these upcoming events:

The Firehouse event, organized by Jeni Cottrell, Harold Niven and FAIM, includes an exhibit by 16 Noisy Water poets who created artwork inspired by or related to their poem. The art will be on display at the Firehouse Café throughout National Poetry Month, April 1-30, during café hours, 7:00am – 4:00pm daily, and the poets will read at the reception/reading on April 24.

All readings are free and copies of Noisy Water will be available for purchase. There’s more information about Noisy Water and a complete lineup of poets for each event on the Other Mind Press Noisy Water page.

Village Books in Lynden

In case you missed this bit of local independent bookstore news, Bellingham’s Village Books has announced that it will open a second store, in Lynden! Slated for a November opening, the 3000-square-foot store will occupy a part of the renovated Waples Mercantile Building (formerly Delft Square). The building, which appears on the National Register of Historic Places, was renamed for William H. “Billy” Waples, who operated the Lynden Department Store at the Front Street location.

Read the full story on the Village Books site.

new writers group

November 2, 2013

Jansen Art CenterThe Jansen Art Center in Lynden has announced the formation of a creative writers group for teens and adults facilitated by freelance writer and photographer Cynthia Poppe.

The group meets every other Thursday, 6:00-8:00pm at The Jansen; the next four meetings will be November 7 & 21, December 5 & 19. The class fee is $5 per session, or get a 10-session punch card for $40.

More on the Jansen online and on Facebook.

Poetry workshop

October 20, 2012

Jansen Art CenterJames Bertolino will offer a workshop entitled Images on the Edge: A Poetry in Writing Workshop on Saturday, October 27, 2012, 10am – 3pm, at the new Jansen Art Center in Lynden. More details here.

Take some time to explore the Jansen, a handsome multi-arts facility with exhibition, performance, studio and teaching spaces. It’s a wonderful addition to Whatcom County’s robust arts community.

Lynden LibraryEach year, the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest Walk Award and Merit Award poems are turned into beautiful placards by Egress Studio. Two placards of each winning poem are displayed in Whatcom Transportation Authority buses serving routes throughout Whatcom County.

In addition, a third set of 25 placards circulates to various exhibit spaces. The 2011 winning poems are now on display for the month of August at the Lynden Public Library, 216 4th Street, in Lynden, Washington.