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September 14, 2017
With 75,000+ new and used books and more than 2,000 different magazine titles, Port Book and News is considered one of the top independent bookstores in western Washington outside of Seattle. Located in Port Angeles, Washington, less than two miles away from Olympic National Park, the bookstore carries a variety of Xplorer Maps’ products.
“The map of Olympic National Park is a perfect fit for our store,” according to Alan Turner, the owner of Port Book and News. “Customers love the map. The tourists want to take it home, and locals buy it because they have pride in where they live.”
Xplorer Maps’ notecards, postcards, magnets, and puzzles also are popular at the bookstore that Turner and his wife, Cindy, have owned for the past 31 years.
Bookstore Owner Appreciates Geographic Accuracy and Cultural Relevance of Maps
A librarian by training and at heart, Turner said he has always been impressed by the accuracy and uniqueness of the maps. He remembers a conversation he had with Xplorer Maps’ founder and president, Greg Robitaille, about the first working sketches of the Olympic National Park map. Created in partnership with Washington’s National Park Fund, the map had a drawing of a Northwestern Native American canoe that was based on a reference from the American Museum of Natural History in New York. When Robitaille shared the sketch with local tribal members and Washington’s National Park Fund, both groups suggested that Xplorer Maps make revisions because that type of canoe was never used by local tribes on the Olympic Peninsula.
“Most tourists and locals wouldn’t have known that it was not a Peninsula canoe,” Turner said. “But Xplorer Maps revised the illustration to accurately depict the correct Peninsula canoe. They are a company that is very precise and is proud of their accuracy.”
According to Robitaille, rendering the hand-illustrated maps is a collaborative process involving area experts, historians, National Park Service interpretive staff, and nonprofit partners. “The result is that the maps have been fully vetted for educational merit, historical and geographic accuracy, and cultural relevance. This was a top priority with the Olympic National Park map.”
Turner said he enjoys working with Xplorer Maps because, “Greg always takes my phone calls and he ships really quickly,” he said with a laugh.
In addition to a large selection of books, magazines, and gifts, Port Book and News has an active reading series, with several nationally recognized author appearances per month.
With classical music playing and potpourri burning, Turner’s goal is that people who visit the store will have fun and come back another time.
Turner occasionally can be seen sporting a Grumpy hat or shirt and drinking from a mug with the character from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
“I try to tell funny jokes and make people laugh,” Turner said. “I’m the happiest grumpy person you’ll ever meet.”
Top photo caption: Having fun is a priority at Port Book and News. Owners Cindy Turner (second from right) and Grumpy, aka Alan Turner, (far right) pictured with the staff.
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