munity.” From the beginning,
that has meant creating a
strong mail-order (and later
online) business. “We were driven to
doing mail order,” explained Peters,
“because we’re in a tourist community.
I remember the day after we opened,
[my husband] Rob went out and
bought a fax machine and programmed
it with 15-digit international numbers.” Although the fax has long since
been replaced by the store’s website
( poisonedpen.com), e-tailing continues
to complement sales at Poisoned Pen’s
nearly 4,000-sq.-ft. location in Old
Town Scottsdale’s art district.
Poisoned Pen also began partnering
how to sell books” after careers as an
attorney and an intern at the Library of
Congress, attributed the store’s success
to its ability to change with its local
environment. “ I feel very strongly,” she
said, “that bookstores reflect their com-
Poisoned Pen: 25 Years of Innovation
Fifteen years ago, at the start of the millennium, PW named Poisoned Pen Bookstore in
Scottsdale, Ariz., one of 11 innovative
businesses destined to influence publishing in the 21st century. That
would be a tall order for anyone, much
less a mystery bookstore in a tourist
area. But by 2000, Poisoned Pen,
which opened in October, 1989, had
already proved that a small independent can have an outsized importance
in its community and the book ecosystem beyond.
Since then, Poisoned Pen has transformed itself into a literary bookstore
with strong mystery, thriller, and history
sections. Founder Barbara Peters, a self-described “book lover who’s figured out
Please visit global.penguinrandomhouse.com/Readathon
to learn more about how you and your own organization can get involved.
The National Book Foundation and Penguin Random House are thrilled to join
forces on a new initiative: NATIONAL READATHON DAY, a designated day
for readers across America to spend an afternoon reading, and to raise funds for
the literacy efforts of the NBF. We welcome everyone to join us in this effort.
Poisoned Pen has been in Scottsdale since 1989.