An interview with Gayle Borchard, owner of Independent Books, 112 South Pacific Ave., in the Sandpiper Mall, Long Beach, Wash.

Independent Books, with a remodeled interior, opened July 2, 2004. Gayle Borchard attended a "boot camp" for bookstore owners to increase her knowledge of the business.

There is a children's section with a jigsaw puzzle floor mat that kids are welcome to play with.

Independent Books is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Ask about special customer incentives. For more information call (360) 642-8438.

What do you want people to know about your business?

"That we're here. Also, we have a wide variety of new, used and collectible books. We carry a wide variety of titles. I work hard to keep the titles refreshed. We do have some kids' toys."

What do you offer in the way of Lewis and Clark books?

"We have a great Lewis and Clark section, with books appropriate for a variety of ages. This section received praise from local author Rex Ziak."

Do you take special orders?

"Yes. I'm glad to do special orders of books, both new and used."

What can you tell me about the volume you do?

"The 5000th customer has already been served."

How often do you order books?

"I order new books twice a week and I bring in two cases of used books every week to keep things interesting."

What do you offer customers who might be looking for a good "beach" read?

"I sell used pocket paperback books for $1."

I understand you are sending some of your books into the community.

"Yes. I place books in the local bed and breakfast establishments."

Do you have audio books?

"I have a few of them."

Has anything about this business surprised you?

"Yes. How much children read."

- Patty Hardin

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