This episodic history of Betsy Burton’s bookstore, the King’s English, reflects the recent story of independent bookselling. Burton and her first partner, Ann Berman, opened the shop in 1977, fueled by an enthusiasm for good literature and a dream of creating a hangout for book lovers in Salt Lake City. Neither partner knew much about running a business, but over time they learn how to negotiate with sales reps, stock inventories, assess and shape the reading tastes of their customers, and thwart the pilfering hands of larcenous employees. When a passion for books is no longer enough to make ends meet, they face the challenges bedeviling all independent booksellers: computerization and the Internet; chain stores and publishing monopolies; and the perennial bugaboo of civilization, censorship. At the King’s English, censorship evolved from objections over feminist literature in the 1970s to the Patriot Act in the 2000s. There are also the challenges unique to running a bookstore so near the headquarters of the Mormon Church. When Jon Krakauer comes to speak about his book on Mormon fundamentalism, Burton finds herself working with a private detective, the local vice squad, and a martial arts expert to provide security. She wonders where the line is between satisfying the wants of customers and squelching free speech.