|Tsunami Books, Eugene, OR
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What are the chances? I can travel far and wide and still I can stumble onto such coincidental experiences. One of the booksellers I met here was Steve E., who immediately and without hesitation told me he was from Iowa, grew up in Des Moines, and even attended the University of Iowa for his undergrad degree. We’d never met but it was already turning into an Iowa reunion. He even said that Eugene is the Oregon version of Iowa City. His graduate studies and travels took him throughout Great Britain so we enjoyed a wonderful conversation about bookstores in that part of the world. Now he’s a bookseller, editor, and budding author with a book already published titled, Mole. Another segment of the bookstore is their publishing service, Tsunami Press. Steve has edited two of their publications including a new anthology coming in November and now available for pre-order, Bookstore Clerks and Significant Others. This sounds like a great anthology for bookstore enthusiasts. Readers, why oh why would anyone want to order a book from a discount website when you can have fun like this at an independent bookstore!
You know they’re doing something right since Tsunami Books has been open for almost 28 years. The store doesn’t look extraordinary from the outside but when you enter it opens up into two large rooms. Tsunami is packed with new and used books and as Laura told me, you won’t pick up a dusty book smell in here because they wipe down all the used books that come in. Customers can receive cash or trade for the books they bring in. Online sales are a daily and important part of their business. In addition to the new and used books, make sure you ask about their vintage and collectible editions if that is your interest. There are a few sidelines here including locally created art, pottery, candles, and greeting cards to name a few. You’ll also find an assortment of music on vinyl.
One of the nice things here are the frequent events, especially live music. They have a large space that can be cleared and a nice small stage in one corner of the room. They also welcome creative writing students and their professors from the University of Oregon to do readings.
Scott L. has been the owner here for many years but he wasn’t in on the day of my visit. No worries because meeting Steve and bookseller Laura was enjoyable 10-fold. Wonderful people who were engaging, conversant, and oh so nice. The perfect recipe for any bookstore and any bookstore visitor. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: Paper Lion, George Plimpton. Arguably, the author's most famous book published in 1966. Plimpton's own account of what it's like to be an amateur who tries to survive the rigors of pre-season training and the hope of getting in for a few plays with the Detroit Lions. A great look inside professional football at that time and everything it entails. A must-read for football fans. This also became a popular movie. Recommended.
CURRENTLY READING: The Stranger Beside Me, Ann Rule.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: Small Things Like These, Claire Keegan. The Night Always Comes, Willy Vlautin. (Read this one a few weeks ago and I thought it was great). Not purchased but gifted, Mole, Steve Gromert Ellerhoff. Thanks Steve.
|I love this storefront. Walk around to the side to enter.
|This is the entrance on the side of the building.
|Just a portion of the beautiful outdoor gardening work that Scott has done.
|In addition to the wonderful landscaping, the exterior also features unique and creative murals.
|Collectors should pay this store a visit.
|View looking into the store from the entrance.
|One of the long book aisles you'll enjoy browsing.
|Looking directly to the left from the entrance.
|New book display with several shelf-talkers indicating staff recommendations.
|After you enter the store, go to the left and you'll enter this room. You'll enjoy the many posters on the ceiling and throughout the store.
|Used book staff favorites.
|Always one of my favorite pictures but the ceiling posters make this one unique.
|Unbelievably creative. This seems very fitting for an Oregon bookstore.
|Attractive table display of staff picks.
|An overview of the room to the left after you enter the store.
|Along with the posters you'll enjoy throughout the store you'll also see historic headlines.
|Just a few of the audio books offered.
|Overview of the children's area.
|Little chairs for little readers.
|Many bookstores are like museums where you never know what you'll see and always discovering something new on each visit.
|An overview of the room near the entrance.
|Locally created greeting cards.
|Works of art in a variety of mediums can be seen throughout the store.
|Just some of the music on vinyl offered.
|This corner is where events are staged.
|View of the store from the stage. Authors, this is your view when you talk about your book.
|Read the book in a theater seat.
|See picture below.
|Original works of stoneware pottery. If you don't want one for yourself it would make a great gift.
|If you're a regular at Tsunami this is a must.
|With Laura in the center and Steve on the right, two of the fine booksellers you'll meet at Tsunami Books. Thanks for a great visit.