The Dalles, OR -- July 25, 2007

From left to right: Jesse, Carol, and Paul Klindt in front of the oldest bookstore in Oregon and, as is the opinion of poeple in the town, one of the best loved. Mr. Klindt has owned it since 1981. His family has been in The Dalles since his great grandparents came to homestead in 1859.

They sell a lot of local and Northwest history, have a mystery section, a small poetry section, they keep new hardback that everyone has and though you can get the books cheaper on Amazon and at Walmart, a lot of people still buy from him. They try to keep a wide range of books on hand, even thought hey are a small store.

Also popular are books on gardening, self-help, biographies, and lots of kids books like the Harry Potter books and Phillip Pullman’s Dark Materials. Young girls like stories about fairies and the book called Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. Then there’s sci-fi and manga. Knitting books, he said, are popular again and books about Native Americans.

Local Walla Walla author, Patrick Carman, who self published a series of books called The Land of Elyan, attracted about 200 parents and children to his store for a reading. The books are about a little girl who finds a passage to another world in the library and wears a necklace so that she can talk to animals.

Another local writer from The Dalles is Monica Garcia who just graduated from college. She wrote a book called Hate Mail. It describes uncomfortable situations young women run into and, if you can relate, there are cards enclosed and you write the letter on the card and seal it up as a way to get rid of your negative feelings. Cards for one-night-stands, dirty old men, etc.

A children's picture book by another local author—Rebecca Ann MacKay and her book Little Pirate and his Pirate Hat, dedicated to her own little buccaneer.

Mr. Klindt's own favorite books--War and Peace and Brothers Karamazov. He has a PhD in Russian and he and his wife used to teach at the University of Texas and take students over—perhaps about 12 times in over thirty years. He recommends to people the Spanish novel, The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n. It’s about a little boy who is taken to a repository of lost books and is allowed to pick out one book. He reads it and wants to read everything by the author, but, throughout history (the book takes you from the Spanish Civil War to contemporary times), something happens each time he gets near a book, like an earthquake. It’s a unique format, he said.

For lighter reading, he recommends the mysteries by Peter Tremayne, who has created a heroine, Sister Fidelma and sets the stories in Ireland during the era when it was experiencing a flowering and people from all over, as far as Egypt and Ethiopia were coming there. From the 5th or 6th Century until the Vikings came and conquered in the 10th and 11th century it was a free, open space for education.

An author who has used the idyllic The Dales in his writing—Craig Lesley who teaches at a community college in Portland. His book Winter Kill won the Western Book Award. His book River Song is set partly in The Dalles.

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