News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters businesses partner to build community

Books and coffee go together perfectly. For two decades, Paulina Springs Books and Sisters Coffee Co. have enjoyed the symbiosis of growing up right across Hood Avenue from each other, becoming two of Sisters’ signature independent businesses.

Now, as both businesses seek ways to stay connected with their customers in the constraints of the coronavirus pandemic, they have, for the first time, launched a direct partnership.

The bookstore and the coffee house are offering a monthly subscription box with a read and a supply of coffee. It’s called Reads & Roasts.

Each box includes a new book, a choice of one or two 12 oz. bags of Black Butte Gold coffee from Sisters Coffee Company (or tea from Metolius), and “an assortment of other bookish swag or goodies from Sisters Country businesses and artisans.”

“Each book featured in the box is hand-selected from among thousands of titles that are published each month,” Paulina Springs explains. “Some might be from authors you recognize, but we’re sure you’ll discover some new ones, too! We emphasize diverse, global, and underrepresented voices — but above all else, these are books that we believe in and stories that deserve to be shared.”

Reads & Roasts subscribers also get access to a monthly virtual book club to talk about the books featured in the box. Those sessions may sometimes include guest appearances by the author.

“Just being across the street from them, we’ve always been looking for ways to collaborate,” said Paulina Springs owner Lane Jacobson. “We love our little corner of Sisters here. We had some plans in the works that COVID threw off the rails.”

But, as they’ve been doing since March, the shops adapted and pivoted — and the response so far has been gratifying.

“So far the enthusiasm for it has been high,” Jacobson said.

Many patrons of both Paulina Springs Books and Sisters Coffee Co. are visitors to Sisters who don’t have an independent bookstore or coffeehouse in their community and want to support those homegrown businesses year-round. The Reads & Roasts program is a good fit for that.

“It’s definitely meant to feel like taking a piece of Sisters,” Jacobson said.

Like many businesses in town they are discovering communities that exist outside the confines of the geography of Sisters. In a time of limited interaction and physical distancing, programs like Reads & Roasts are helping to maintain a sense of community connection.

“This is just another form of attachment to the community,” Jacobson said.

The first book of the program is “Homeland Elegies” by Pulitzer Prize-winner Ayad Akhtar.

“It’s a biographical fiction about the Muslim experience in post-9/11 America,” Jacobson said. “It’s really good. It’s a page-turner; it’s compulsively readable.”

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Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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