Saturday, August 15, 2015

Bookshop Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, CA

Bookshop Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, CA
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I think it's safe to say Santa Cruz is a bookstore town.  Besides the Bookshop Santa Cruz there are a couple of other bookstores.  All of this in a town of approximately 40,000 and as many of you know towns much larger than this have no bookstores.  But what defines this as a bookstore town is the story of how this community stepped up in a major way to save a beloved community business.

This is a picture of the book tent.  
The earthquake of 1989 changed everything, destroying the building beyond repair.  In the words of Laurie R. King, the books, "...lay in heaps, vomited off the shelves."  No building, no bookstore, right?  Wrong!  The Santa Cruz community rallied to resuscitate their local bookstore.  Volunteers were allowed in the demolished building, no more than 20 at a time, yet 400 were there and waited their turn to help.  The store survived as a book tent for 3 years, the first two without heat, and then moved into the current building down the street from the former location.  Independent bookstores take pride in their local communities and support and there is no better example than the fine folks in Santa Cruz.  Bravo and well done.

Thank goodness because now the bookstore is clearly thriving and I could enjoy visiting.  I had a great talk with Patrick and Gā, two of the managers.  Patrick told me that Bookshop Santa Cruz is in the top 10 in sales for the country's indies.  He also stated that the customer base is primarily local with some tourists. The store is a very expansive one-level and it really rambles around.  The variety of sidelines and magazines are incredible.  You can find new and used books here and the store has a book buy-back program that offers cash or store credit.  There is also a store loyalty program with a membership of 5-6000 (community!).  The children's department is one of the strengths in the store and its manager, Gā, is as knowledgeable about her department as anyone I've met.  The store has an attractive area with skylights where they host author events and are also able to host these off-site if needed.  This indie is the definition of a full-service bookstore.

I didn't get to meet Casey, the owner, on this day but met many of the wonderful people who make things happen here.  Patrick, Gā, Sara, Andrea, and others told me much about the store.  The entire time of my visit the store was extremely busy.  Next year they'll be celebrating their 50th anniversary, a great accomplishment for any indie.  There's no doubt about their future.  After all, how many of you could survive 3 years in a tent?!  A great town with a great bookstore, don't miss it.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Triggerfish Twist, Tim Dorsey.  This book is loaded with nitwits, idiots, and imbeciles and the story is nonsensical in every way.  A light read that you might enjoy.  If you haven't read anything by Tim Dorsey, here's your invitation to start with this one.

CURRENTLY READING:  We Are Called To Rise, Laura McBride.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Meadow, James Galvin.  Good Night, Mr. Tom, Michelle Magorian.

Beautiful front window.  

Looking straight into the store from the front entrance.  Believe me, this shows just the tip of the iceberg!  

Looking to the left from the front entrance.  

Looking to the right from the front entrance.  

Just a portion of the magazines and journals available here.  

Lots of sidelines here including art and crafts.  

All the babies can hang out in this section!

I think I need this on a t-shirt for all the indies I visit and the wonderful booksellers I meet.  

Wacky socks make great gifts.  

A few of the greeting cards you'll find here.  

I love displays like this.  

And displays like this.  

Nice view of this area.  

Another display I enjoy seeing.  

If you're on a budget, look for some used books.  

Or, look for this table.  

A few of the staff favorites.  

The skylights in this area really brighten the room.  Many author events are held in this space.  

The children's section here is outstanding.  

See that sign in the upper left hand corner toward the rear?  Good luck finding that at Amazon.  

When you take a break from reading the book you'll be getting, play a game.  

You'll find sales books in many areas of the store.  

Lots of local authors and local interests.  

Only at an indie.  

Andrea in the center and Sara on the right, two of the fine staffers at Bookshop Santa Cruz.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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