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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why Pistil Books?

I am being interviewed by the IOBA (Independent Online Booksellers Association) for a feature on their website, and one of the questions that has come up is why we chose the name Pistil Books.  This has been an oft-asked question during the life of our store, and quite frequently we've been mistakenly thought to be Pistol Books.

Here's a postcard we used to send out (images and definitions from a children's dictionary) by way of explanation.

We chose the name Pistil Books because we liked the play of the word pistil, a female flower part, versus pistol, a gun. A homophone with two very different meanings. From the sound of the word, it's unclear which pistil/pistol we are.  As a part of a flower, pistil evokes the idea of growing, living, flowering... and in the case of books, flowering knowledge.  A slogan for Pistil Books (it's printed on our bookmarks) is "Seed your head."  
We have used flowers as a theme for our business - our retail store had a stained glass sunflower window, as well as a colorful flower mosaic we made on the floor (it's still there - though our old retail storefront is now a burrito joint). 
We now have flower mosaics around the exterior door of our office/warehouse, a lovely vintage three-dimensional scientific model of a pistil on a shelf above my desk, and a flower/bee/knowledge theme on our website.