This story originally aired on October 26, 2019.
The internet didn’t ruin Louis Collins's job, but it sure sucked the fun out of it.
People no longer needed his help when it came to finding books — they could just look it up on their own computer. For a used book dealer like Collins, this was bad news, and he didn’t take it lightly.
“My value added disappeared immediately,” Collins said in a 2011 interview with the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America. “I had nothing, so I had to reshift and then I’m competing to sell books with the Goodwill on the internet.”
After a decades-long career in the industry, one that brought him widespread recognition in Seattle and across the Pacific Northwest, Collins turned his attention to his legacy. Who would take over the business when he’s gone?
Collins found his answer in a friend, a guy by the name of Bill Wolfe. The two started working together, but it didn't become clear until years later that what Collins wanted wasn't just someone to run his business.
He was looking for family.