WIT'S END BOOKSTORE
EVENTS, NEWS, AND COMMUNITY INFORMATION
NOVEMBER 22, 2022
The Wit's End in Stanwood
by Cecilia Ray
The stormy day dissolved from my awareness as I opened the door with a jingly bell and stepped into Wit’s End Bookstore in Stanwood. The feeling was playful and enticing. Superheroes and other action figures watched me from cases and displays. Sierra Utley, the owner and manager, was helping a woman find a particular book. Her son, Xavier, stacked sage bundles on a shelf. The feeling was how I imagine it would be if I stepped back in time to visit an old country store, except this one had current books and toys.
The selection of used books at Wit’s End covers a range of interests. The well-organized shelves are sorted by genre and labeled to help customers find their area of interest. A variety of fiction books including science fiction, westerns, romance, and thrillers filled several rooms with shelves from floor to ceiling. Other rooms held comics, nonfiction, and children’s books. One entire room was dedicated to magic and metaphysical books, stones, jewelry and more. Sierra explained to me that the local people bring in books to trade. The advantage to this is that the books she takes in are the type that appeal to the local community. In Stanwood, it is the mainstream fiction that is most popular.
Wit’s End also offers a selection of toys that focus on spurring the imagination. In addition to the action figures from Star Wars to Superman, there were puzzles, collectables, coloring and drawing books, and games appropriate for elementary school age and up. It was a child’s treasure store.
Sierra’s love of books was obvious when I interviewed her. Her draw to owning a bookstore goes back to when she worked in a bookstore at the age of twenty. She enjoys a wide range of books, but when I asked her what her favorite type of book was, she said, “One that lingers with me five days after I finish reading it.”
After many successful years as the owner of the Wit’s End in Marysville, Sierra began looking for a building to purchase with the intent of creating another neighborhood store. She and her husband found and purchased an (continued in next column)
"We must keep toy stores
and bookstores alive."
Eden, Sierra, and Xavier
ideal location in the heart of Stanwood. After a year of remodeling and preparing, the store opened on April 1, 2022. Now Sierra greets customers like long-time friends when they come into the store.
My last question to Sierra was what she would like to tell readers. Without taking a pause to think, she answered, "We must keep toy stores and bookstores alive." I'm with her on that one.
Wit's End Bookstore
10123 270th St NW, Stanwood, WA 98292