Paulina Springs Books, the store serving readers in the Central Oregon town of Sisters since 1992, is seeking a buyer. One of the three current owners, Brad Smith, has been dealing with health issues. Smith was not available for comment, but his sister and business partner, Cynthia Claridge, said he was diagnosed with cancer five years ago.
Claridge said her brother has been doing better than doctors expected but needs more time to focus on his health.
“We want his health to improve,” Claridge said.
Smith and his wife, Randi Schuyler, took over Paulina Springs from original owners, Diane Campbell and Dick Sandvik in 2002. Claridge joined in 2007 when the store expanded into Redmond. (That location has since spun off under new ownership, rechristened Herringbone Books.)
Claridge said the transition is bittersweet. She was recently in Memphis, Tennessee, for the American Booksellers Association Winter Institute.
“During one of the workshops I was sitting in,” she said, “I texted my brother, and said, ‘Wish I was 10 years younger! I’d love to keep going on.’ He texted back, ‘So would I’. Neither one of us are giving this up happily. We both have loved doing the book business. Sisters is a wonderful, very supportive community.”
Claridge said they’ve already had some inquiries from potential buyers.
“We’ve had interest,” Claridge said. “We’re certainly not in the final stages. Two people who are local have stepped forward.”
She said the hope is a deal could be finalized this spring.
(editors’ note: Paulina Springs Books is an underwriter of OPB.)