Vacation Reads In South Carolina

Vickie Craston owns Litchfield Books, a popular bookstore in Pawley's Island, S.C. Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks with Craston about what her customers are reading as they relax on the Carolina beaches this summer.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, host: Ellen Airgood just mentioned that Lake Superior is a big body of water about the size of South Carolina. South Carolina, of course, has its own body of water - the Atlantic Ocean - and both are the sort of popular summer vacation spots where you can relax with a good book. Ellen Airgood writes books, and Vickie Craston sells books. How's that for symmetry?

This month we're speaking with bookstore owners in popular getaway places, to find out what people want to read on their vacations. Vickie Craston owns Litchfield Books in Pawley's Island, South Carolina. She joins us from the bookstore. Welcome to the program.

VICKIE CRASTON: Thank you very much. I'm happy to talk to you today.

WERTHEIMER: Now, tell us about Pawley's Island. Who visits it? What do they do while they're there? Where is it?

CRASTON: Thirty minutes south of Myrtle Beach area, and it is north of Charleston. It is a quiet, little place that everyone loves. And we all try to keep it that way as much as possible.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

WERTHEIMER: So what sorts of books are good, reliable sellers for you in the summer - I mean, besides the best-seller list. What types of books sell?

CRASTON: A lot of people who visit our area like to read about the area, so they love the Southern authors that we have - Dorothea Benton Frank, Mary Alice Monroe. And Pat Conroy is a favorite of everyone's, and we sell his books day in and day out.

WERTHEIMER: You got anything for me here that you didn't expect - that you didn't know about? I mean, something you've had to reorder that you never heard of?

CRASTON: Yes, there is one. It's called "The Watery Part of the World," by Michael Parker. There's a lot of fascination, particularly in our area, about Theodosia.

WERTHEIMER: Are we talking Theodosia Burr here?

CRASTON: Yes. And I won't get into the details because I think everyone should read it. It's a great read.

WERTHEIMER: Do you find that you do a different kind of business in the summer than you do the rest of the year?

CRASTON: Yes. In the summer, we have a lot of younger people that are visiting, on vacation. They read a little bit differently than our typical customer, who's probably in mid-50s and up, who read a little bit more literary. So in the summertime, we do sell a little bit more of the - what I call mainstream New York Time best-seller books than we would in the winter.

WERTHEIMER: So do you think that people are kind of looking for a book that is not going to be quite as challenging to read? I mean, are they looking for something that's...

CRASTON: Yes. They are. They're looking for something to entertain them on the beach.

WERTHEIMER: Vickie Craston is the owner of Litchfield Books. She spoke to us from her bookstore, which is in Pawley's Island, South Carolina. Vickie, thank you very much.

CRASTON: Thank you very much.

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