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Postcards from paradise: A daughter of Petoskey finds homecoming a real page-turner

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It is a circuitous route indeed that brought Katie Capaldi back home, to a place she seemed destined for.

A 2001 graduate of Petoskey High School, Capaldi, 32, left home for Kenyon College in Ohio, a small liberal arts school where she majored in dance, along with anthropology, pre-med and a math minor. Then it was off to Chicago, Montana and Ann Arbor, where she pursued dance and choreography, teaching, performing, and guiding children's theater.

But she had always loved books – not just reading, mind you – but the actual physical thing itself, the smell of paper and cover, the tactile turn of the page. She fondly recalled being surrounded by stacks and stacks of them in the bookstore where she worked in high school.

Two years ago, destiny called. Actually it was the owner of Between the Covers, a small Harbor Springs bookstore that had been in business 32 years. Would she be interested in buying it?

Not long after, she moved back to Harbor Springs and dived right in. She moved the store from the basement of a toy store to the first floor of a brick building in the resort community's tiny downtown, where it has done better than she might have expected. “Last year was its best financial year in the history of the store,” Capaldi said.

While her store boasts 130,000 books and covers about any subject, Capaldi says the store's forte is the intimate and informed relationship it can offer every customer. She devours six to 10 books a week, fiction and nonfiction, somehow finding time after the 60-plus hours a week she puts in on the store. It helps that this self-described Luddite has no television at home and does not use a cell phone.

“I come from a long line of insomniacs,” she says, “so I'm good with four hours of sleep.”

‒ Ted Roelofs

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