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Alta States

Dan Ellis: Bucking the odds

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Still, his abiding passion for the bookstore — and his clientele — is apparent in everything he says and does. “I’m in awe of the sheer variety of customers we get here,” he says. “Europeans, Americans, Australians, Japanese, and our own local readers: we’re basically dealing with people — and reading tastes — from all over the world.” Which is exciting, for sure, but it doesn’t make Dan’s life any easier. “With 4-5 million books on the market, it’s a challenge to decide which titles we should carry in the store. And with the cultural diversity of our customers, it makes our choice even more difficult. But most of them are pretty good about telling us what they want to read. And I trust their tastes…”

Trust and respect. Maybe those two words say more about Armchair Books’ 25-year success story than anything else. “A few years ago, when Whistler was struggling,” says Dan, “I decided I would do all I could to make my customers feel that they got good value from shopping at our store.” And that’s been the driving vision at Armchair Books ever since. “Whether people come to buy, or just want to spend a few minutes browsing among the books, I want them all to know that they are welcome — and appreciated — here. Anything less just isn’t good enough!”