Karla and Peter Nelson began their bookselling careers in the mid 1990s in Ilwaco, Washington, by selling their own book collection online. "We always planned for a storefront and the opportunity arose to be on the ground floor of a revitalization of an area that had been primarily a fishing port," said Karla Nelson. "We took a giant leap of faith and have watched this area blossom." On May 1, the Nelsons celebrate the 10th anniversary of their store, Time Enough Books, at the port of Ilwaco waterfront.
The Nelsons attended seminars and trade shows offered by the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association to learn the trade and terms of bookselling, said Karla Nelson. "Bookselling has a language all its own. ARC, frontlist, backlist, prepack. I could go on and on."
Time Enough Books' nautical theme extends beyond its location, which is on the marina overlooking the confluence of the Columbia River with the Pacific Ocean. "Peter is a tugboat captain and is at sea approximately six months out of the year," said Karla Nelson. "We have lots of boat models adorning the tops of shelves including one built by my uncle 40 years ago of my grandfather's double-ended troller, the Annie F, which used to be berthed right in front of our building."
Time Enough partners with area school libraries to host a Book Booster Program. Titles are available to the public at a discount to be placed in the school library of their choosing. The donor's name appears on a bookplate in each book. The store is also active with the local merchant group and the local heritage museum.
Time Enough Books' name comes from the Nelsons' favorite Twilight Zone episode, "Time Enough at Last," she explained. The 1,500-square-foot bookstore had such a good run during its first five years, thanks in part to "wonderful landlords who appreciated our enthusiasm for books," the Nelsons were able to buy the building. "We have a gas fireplace with comfortable seating around it. The fireplace is a welcome fixture, especially during our winter storms that beat at our door. We have undergone one expansion and are in the planning stages to expand once again," said Nelson. While the bookstore benefits from local tourism, Nelson credited their loyal community for the store's success: "We would not survive without the support of our locals." --Karen Schechner