Skip to content

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   
May 18, 2010

For More Information, Contact:
Keith Weissglass (650) 688-6384


SACRAMENTO – State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) announced today his selection of Books Inc. as the 11th State Senate District Small Business of the Year.

“Books Inc. is the kind of business that leads by example,” said Simitian. “Not only are they providing a great service to Palo Alto and other Bay Area communities, they’re showing how independent bookstores can both survive and thrive.”

Books Inc. is descended from a small bookselling business started during the California gold rush in 1851. Today, the business features 12 stores and a staff of approximately 200 employees. Its Palo Alto store reopened last year at a new location in the Town and Country Village shopping center, close to Simitian’s own District office.

“As their numbers dwindle, we ought to take a moment to appreciate and support our independent neighborhood bookstores,” Simitian said. “When you walk into Books Inc., you can’t help but notice the care and attention these folks put into choosing their books. Each of their stores reflects the community it serves.”

“Books Inc. is honored to accept this award,” said Michael Tucker, co-owner and president of Books Inc., who also serves as president of the American Booksellers Association. “Our business is based on the belief that independent bookstores provide something unique to local communities. We’re glad that Senator Simitian feels the same way.”

In addition to serving as a local resource for readers, Books Inc. hosts in-store fundraisers for schools and non-profit organizations. In 2009 alone, their Palo Alto store helped raise $7,000 for local causes.

“Books Inc.’s generosity has helped a number of local schools,” said Annie McQueen, librarian at Palo Alto’s Jordan Middle School. “They hosted a wonderful event for us, and we raised probably $800 from one night of sales.”

The Small Business of the Year award is presented by state legislators in conjunction with the California Small Business Association. This year’s awardees will be recognized in Sacramento during California Small Business Day on May 25. Eric Petersen, Manager of Books Inc.’s Palo Alto store, will accept the award.

“It’s great simply being here with the books, talking about them with people, and taking part in that dialogue of ideas that enriches the culture,” said Petersen. “I love introducing people to the authors that I’m passionate about, and learning about those that others are just discovering.”

Simitian has named an independent bookseller as Small Business of the Year in his district for six consecutive years. Previous honorees were Linden Tree in Los Altos, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Kepler’s in Menlo Park, Bell’s Books in Palo Alto, and Hicklebee’s in Willow Glen. 

“Books Inc. and other independent booksellers are more than just stores,” said Simitian. “They’re community gathering places. They’re repositories of ideas. They’re the place we go to acquire knowledge and let loose our imagination.”

For more information, call Simitian’s district office at 650-688-6384.



Related Pages: Miscellaneous, Press Releases