I don't know if I have told you this, but I live in San Jose, California and there are is not a single independent bookstore in my city. So, when I want to go out and do some local book shopping I am usually at either my favorite used bookstore (The Recycled Bookstore http://www.recyclebookstore.com) or at Barnes and Noble. However, there are a number of great bookstores within 30 minutes to an hour to which I can drive. One of my favorites is Bookshop Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is a small little down about 45 minutes south of me, and directly on the water. And this bookshop has been there since 1966. I first went there about 5 or 6 years ago to attend my first Booktopia event put on by Books on the Nightstand and I have been a huge fan ever since.
The bookshop sits on Pacific Avenue and is surrounded by amazing places to each, some nice little shops and just down the street one the of the most delicious cookie stores I have ever been to (I highly recommend the Cherry cookie that you can only get in the summer!). This is a great little town to visit for a day or for an entire weekend. Goodness I love living in Northern California.
The bookshop itself is pretty big, and has a lot of variety. It sells both new and used books, and the used are mixed in on the shelves with the new. I spend most of my time fiction, but today I even made it over to the Science Fiction/Fantasy section. My friend Kevin, a huge mystery reader, found a lot to purchase in that section as well. Curtis and Kevin, friends of mine that had never been to the bookstore, really enjoyed it too and we all put a small dent in our wallets!
However, I will say the best thing about this store is the people that work there. There is nothing better than getting recommendations and help from fellow readers. There are employee recommendation cards everywhere - and table upon table of books that are recommended for some any different reasons. When I went to Booktopia we got to meet the buyers for each of the sections and they were all so up to date and passionate. Trust me - you will like them too. Have I sold you on the going there yet!
Here is a quick peak of what I bought while I was there. Many of them recommendations from my reader friends - a Booker Prize longest - and one that just said - buy me. Have you read any? Where should I start?
I always say if you don't have a bookstore local to you - order from someone else local bookstore and have them ship to you directly. So, here you go --- enjoy Santa Cruz Bookshop! I sure do.