Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our New Location

Sam Weller’s Bookstore will soon be moving to a new location in Salt Lake City. It's been a little more than two years since we first made that declaration. Today I am very happy to announce that a new location for our bookstore has been secured. Tony and I have signed a lease for a site in Trolley Square.

At the beginning of this process we believed we'd complete it within ten months — well, that was naive. It's been a long, difficult two years. I don't think there is a block in the downtown area that doesn't have available property we've left unconsidered. And there have been some tempting properties with some generous and creative owners. But due to a variety of factors, we were unable to swing a deal until this week. To remind you, we determined that our next location must have the following factors: free parking, affordable occupancy rates, footage ranging from 10,000 - 15,000 square feet, close proximity to stable traffic generating entities, close proximity to a TRAX stop, and architectural character. Add in a challenging economic climate, a difficult commercial real estate market, and a changing book industry and you get a very tall order to fill!

Trolley Square was among the first property owners to approach us with available space. But Tony and I were skeptical about leasing property and about locating out of the downtown core. Over time and many hours of negotiations, our concerns were allayed. We are delighted with our space in the old movie theaters in the trolley barn that abuts Sixth South. We are thrilled to be joining such esteemed local businesses as Tabula Rasa, Cabin Fever, and the Desert Edge Brewery. And we look forward to more local businesses joining us in Trolley.

Architectural plans are currently being drawn and construction schedules finalized. So I do not have a hard opening date to share with you yet. We are estimating relocation will be complete in early Autumn. Will we still need help moving? You betcha! Please contact Jan here at the store (801-328.2586 or

I don’t have to tell you all that the book business is evolving at a rapid pace. Some of the issues are newer, some have been with us since the early 1990’s. Salt Lake City itself has changed considerably since the 1980’s and is currently undergoing another significant transformation. Sam Wellers has sold books in Salt Lake City since 1929, moving and changing all the while. Since we intend to continue to serve your bookish needs, we will continue to evolve with the City and with the times. We look forward to showing off the new space and our new and vastly improved web site soon. In the meantime, remember we’re here, we’ve got books, we’re selling them. Don’t be strangers! Come on down.

To get things kicked off, we're having a celebratory sale this Friday, June 17th and Saturday, June 18th. Used and Rare books will be 25% off. But we want you to help us clear out. So if you purchase 10 or more used books, or 10 plus rare books, you'll receive a 33% discount. In a Bargain Book mood? Buy 20 of those for $7.00.

Here's a photo of the Wellers staff celebrating the news Wednesday night.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Best Wellers is Zazen by Vanessa Veselka

Reviewed by Zach Sampinos

“It's what it's all about—can you sit still on fire? Can you be there when it's all a horrific, beautiful, comedy?” Veselka's response to her title and why she chose it. The word zazen, defined as sitting meditation, expands into something both serene and terrifying in this book. Della, the unlikely narrator, paleontology scholar, and part time waitress, has had it with her city, with its ineffective counter-culture running in circles, its box mall churches cropping up all over, and its semi-regular bombings.

The book screams the way only honest fiction can, yelling at us: Hey! You're stepping deeper into the mouth of Hell, are you sure you can't be dissuaded? Zazen pokes fun at superficiality, impish iconoclasm, and our hardwired ways of turning the other cheek and continually not reaching out. It's also a novel about family, and what it means to love and be loved.

In-between serving tofu scramble and celebrating her deceased sister's life and juggling with her own identity, Della starts calling in bomb threats. It begins innocently, with prepaid phones and dubious targets, but it quickly escalates into something a little too real. Della's plan however flawed, is one that you just can not easily ignore.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Justin Cronin Reading at the Library!

Join us on Thursday, June 2nd at the Salt Lake City Library's Nancy Tessman Auditorium for a reading with Justin Cronin, author of the New York Times bestselling novel, The Passage.

The Passage became a blockbuster hit when it was published in hardcover. Cronin says of its success, “The Passage taps into a great deal of our shared anxieties about the world we live in. These are fraught times, to put it mildly, and the dangers we face, internal and external, in ourselves and in others, seem like strange new monsters to wrestle with. But at the same time, The Passage is not an unremittingly bleak story. I think we’re all wondering what will redeem us. It’s a hopeful thing to think that it could be something as simple as love for a little girl.”

The Passage is a breathtaking tale of catastrophe and survival and a mesmerizing work of sacrifice and hope. In telling this epic story of a girl given the chance to save humanity, award-winning and highly acclaimed author Justin Cronin’s ambitious vision and powerful prose combine to make The Passage this summer’s most anticipated read.