The Island Books staff, including owner Laurie Raisys, smile with a banner honoring their 45 years on Mercer Island. Photo courtesy of Nancy Shawn

The Island Books staff, including owner Laurie Raisys, smile with a banner honoring their 45 years on Mercer Island. Photo courtesy of Nancy Shawn

Island Books hits 45-year mark

Store celebrated on Nov. 3 with cake and community.

Mercer Island’s bookstore Island Books celebrated its 45th anniversary on Nov. 3 with cake and community.

The store’s longest tenured employee, bookseller Cindy Corujo, penned a letter on the Island Books website about the special bond between the owners, staff and community.

“I am proud to be a small part of a wholly benevolent institution that has lasted this long,” she wrote. “Who would have thought we could survive, profit and flourish for 45 years? That feels like a success story to me.”

Corujo was hired by former Island Books owner Roger Page in 1994. The Pages sold the business to Laurie and Victor Raisys in 2015. Corujo wrote that “he knew and we knew they would keep the flame alive and thriving” when the Pages passed on the torch to them.

Throughout the past three years under the Raisys, Island Books has continued in a long tradition of yearly donations to local schools, causes and organizations, from Alzheimer’s to NPR to Seattle Arts and Lectures. The store has continued to host events with authors, speakers, storytellers and musicians.

They are continuing the tradition of Island Books serving not only as a “reading oasis” but also as a gathering place and all around curator of community.

In her 45th-anniversary message, Corujo also honored the first owner of Island Books.

“Throughout all of my time here, there was always, always, always, the Legend of Lola Deane. The mother of it all. She who instigated this operation in 1973 with a host of help and other owners who all predated me,” Corujo wrote.

Corujo thanked Mercer Island’s “uniquely supportive and always evolving community that keeps appreciating what we do,” in addition to all of the staff members who have worked at the store over the years.

Island Books was selected as “Best Bookstore” by voters in King 5/Evening Magazine’s “Best of Western Washington” contest in November 2017. It will celebrate Small Business Saturday/Indies First event on Nov. 24.

See www.islandbooks.com for more.

Singer-songwriter Nancy Stewart and author Meg Lippert, who often perform at the Storybook Corner and PJ Story Time events at Island Books, celebrate with the store at its 45th anniversary party on Nov. 3. Photo courtesy of Nancy Shawn

Singer-songwriter Nancy Stewart and author Meg Lippert, who often perform at the Storybook Corner and PJ Story Time events at Island Books, celebrate with the store at its 45th anniversary party on Nov. 3. Photo courtesy of Nancy Shawn

Island Books patrons peruse the selection at the store’s 45th anniversary party on Nov. 3. Photo courtesy of Nancy Shawn

Island Books patrons peruse the selection at the store’s 45th anniversary party on Nov. 3. Photo courtesy of Nancy Shawn

Island Books staffers Lillian and Lori wear their Island Books hoodies at the store’s 45th anniversary party on Nov. 3. Photo courtesy of Nancy Shawn

Island Books staffers Lillian and Lori wear their Island Books hoodies at the store’s 45th anniversary party on Nov. 3. Photo courtesy of Nancy Shawn

The community gathers at Island Books for the store’s 45th anniversary party on Nov. 3. Photo courtesy of Nancy Shawn

The community gathers at Island Books for the store’s 45th anniversary party on Nov. 3. Photo courtesy of Nancy Shawn

Judy and Dan Witmer celebrate the 45th anniversary of Island Books on Nov. 3. Photo courtesy of Nancy Shawn

Judy and Dan Witmer celebrate the 45th anniversary of Island Books on Nov. 3. Photo courtesy of Nancy Shawn

Island Books “webmonkey” Miriam Landis celebrates the 45th anniversary of Island Books on Nov. 3. Photo courtesy of Nancy Shawn

Island Books “webmonkey” Miriam Landis celebrates the 45th anniversary of Island Books on Nov. 3. Photo courtesy of Nancy Shawn

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