Ballard author and Jeopardy champ buys book store in Greenwood

According to a report by our news partners at, Ballard author and Jeopardy champ Tom Nissley recently purchased local independent book store Santoro’s Books (7405 Greenwood Ave N).

After nine years of running the business, previous owner Carol Santoro put the store up for sale three months ago in the hope of selling it before the expiration of her lease at the end of May.

Nissley and his wife, Laura Silverstein, are set to take over in early May and will change the store name to Phinney Books. Final preparations will then be made and the store will officially open in early June.

“I couldn’t have hoped for a better buyer or a better outcome for the bookstore,” Santoro said in a press release. “After nine years owning Santoro’s Books and 29 years in the bookselling business, it’s time for me to make a change. I feel completely confident that Tom will take the bookstore in an interesting new direction. He’s extremely knowledgeable and well-connected in the bookselling world – it’s a perfect fit.”

My Ballard featured Nissley’s stint as an eight-day Jeopardy champion back in 2010 and his performance as runner-up in the Tournament of Champions in 2011. He is making an apparent on the show this  week as part of the “Battle of the Decades.”

Since his time on Jeopardy, he quit his job at Amazon and is now a full-time writer. His latest book, released in November last year, is titled “A Reader’s Book of Days: True Tales from the Lives and Works of Writers for Every Day of the Year.”

“We’re living in a digital age, but it’s become clear in the past couple of years that many readers still want to read physical books and want to buy them at local, independent bookstores, which are thriving in Seattle,” Nissley said in the press release.

Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Sunset Hill David
Sunset Hill David

Thriving? Sounds nice but not really.


The word “apparent” in the article is meant to be “appearance.”


I like that bookstore. Very friendly owner and full of great books.