A quick chat with the queen of paperbacks and pale ales on Nantucket, Wendy Hudson.
N MAGAZINE: What are you currently reading?
HUDSON: This week the pile is huge with Book Fest authors! Azar Nafizi’s Republic of the Imagination and Jane Green’s Summer Secrets were last night’s reading.
N MAGAZINE: What book have you read the most number of times and why?
HUDSON: I almost never read books more than once these days because life is too short and my job is to read widely, but when I was young I was obsessed with Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain. As to why, I guess it must have been because it featured an omniscient pig, and what’s better than that?!
N MAGAZINE: Did you always imagine yourself having a job within the business of books?
HUDSON: In my fantasy life I certainly did, but I never thought it would come true… I fully expected to go to law school or become a professor. Thank heaven I found Nantucket!
HUDSON: Traditionally, Mitchell’s is about the “directed sale” — with Mimi telling you what to buy — whereas Bookworks is like a little treasure box where you find stuff for yourself. We certainly try to continue that spirit. Another answer is that Mitchell’s skews more literary and classic and Bookworks more youthful and eclectic, but we aim to delight and surprise in both stores!
N MAGAZINE: What will the new Bookworks space offer that the old building didn’t? Any exciting new features in particular?
HUDSON: We’re working on a few things like a cool book tree, expanded children’s and YW offerings, more books and toys, and ACKfresh juices! The building will also house an apartment upstairs called the “Bookworks Second Story Loft” which will be a fun summer rental space and I hope can house literary guests in the off-season.
N MAGAZINE: Who are you most excited to see at this year’s Book Festival?
HUDSON: I’m lucky that I get to see lots of authors and I can’t wait to see Ishmael Beah again, especially since he traveled all the way from Mauritania to be here! Aside from that, the answer is everyone!
N MAGAZINE: Why do books and beer go together so well?
HUDSON: They both taste great, and they are both ways to relax and great ways to connect with other people.
N MAGAZINE: Why do you think the printed word will always endure?
HUDSON: Because true things last.
HUDSON: Get a great book from your local bookseller and you won’t be able to stop! Cristina Blank at Mitchell’s says to come talk to her and you’ll be reading for the rest of your life.
N MAGAZINE: If you could magically insert yourself in any piece of fiction and experience it firsthand, what would it be?
HUDSON: No contest, Harry Potter. I want to go to Hogwarts!
N MAGAZINE: You’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of Cisco this summer. Did you ever dream that the brewery would grow into the business that it is today?
HUDSON: Not exactly… We always hoped to make people happy but we didn’t expect so many people would take a shine to us. (It’s also Randy’s and my 20th wedding anniversary this week which is equally fun!)
N MAGAZINE: What is your idea of the perfect way to spend the day on Nantucket?
HUDSON: I actually have a sign at my house that sums this up: Beaches, Books, Beer and the Box.
N MAGAZINE: If you were to make a time capsule with the 5 items that most represent Nantucket to you, what would they be?
HUDSON: No way I can limit it to five — it would be many thousands of pictures of my friends, family and this amazing community.