Roger Page says even though his wife Nancy’s successful wedding floral business was more profitable than Island Books in the early days, they committed to Island Books because the scheduling and lifestyle were a better fit for having a family. Nancy Page would tell you that her final and most enjoyable career was the 15 years she spent working at Island Books. These days both Pages are enjoying their retirement, still reading plenty of books and traveling to visit those not-so-small children, Emma and Lewis, who were the deciding factor in ownership of Island Books all those years ago.
Miriam: Roger, tell me what it was like during the first month you owned Island Books. Did you have a moment that made you realize what you could bring to the community?
Roger: Remembering the first month of owning Island Books is hard. It's a bit like the frog in the boiling water story. You sit in the pot for a long time enjoying the warmth, and suddenly, you realize you're the one being cooked. In 1984 I called every bookstore in Seattle looking for a "Christmas season" job, and Island Books was the only one that called back. I did realize in the first month that I was very lucky to have landed in a much-loved bookstore on an affluent island. I was the only male and only full-time employee among 19 well-educated part-time women. Everyone was recognized, everyone was appreciative, and everyone really read. The bookstore felt big, full of surprises, and full of energy.
Picture: New owners Victor and Laurie Raisys; Cindy Corujo; old owners Nancy and Roger Page; Miriam Landis and Marnie Gittinger in 2015