Saturday, February 27, 2010

Remembering Ed Thomas, OC Independent Bookstore Owner

Ed Thomas, founder and owner of Orange's Book Carnival, an independently owned and operated bookstore specializing in mystery and suspense, has died. The Book Carnival can be found on Tustin Boulevard, in a strip mall that seems as if it could be the backdrop from one of the mysteries that Thomas loved.

Excerpt from the Los Angeles Times obituary by Dennis McLellan:
For nearly three decades, Book Carnival, run by Thomas and his wife, Pat, has been a literary oasis on south Tustin Avenue.

Thomas' specialty bookstore also specialized in book signings...

Over the decades, Tony Hillerman, Robert B. Parker, Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, James Ellroy, T. Jefferson Parker and hundreds of other authors did book signings at Thomas' shop.

Book Carnival, Crais said, was "a touchstone stop" for authors.

"As part of being a bookseller, Ed nurtured the careers of many, many writers, myself among them," Crais said. "From the beginning, when no one knew who I was, Ed Thomas was the type of bookseller who read voraciously, and when he found a book he loved, he hand-sold it.

"It was a business of enthusiasm, and Ed helped us all to grow."

Connelly agreed.

"In terms of book selling, his voice in supporting my work went further and was much stronger than the number of my books he sold," Connelly said Thursday. "He'd have people calling in from London asking, 'What have you read lately that's good?' He was a trustworthy name in the business."

In 2003, Ed and Pat Thomas received the Mystery Writers of America's Raven Award for their contributions to the popularity of the genre.

To read the rest, click here.


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