Bookstores I Love

One of my favorite parts about publishing a book is the book tour. Travel + books = adventure and meeting readers. I plan to visit as many bookstores as my body, soul, and calendar will allow. To honor these heroic holdouts in the online age, these temples to pages, these centers of human contact, I’m writing a bit about each one I visit, and providing a link so you can shop there online or visit them in the flesh.

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you: The Bookstores! (By state)

CALIFORNIA

A Great Good Place for Books  Montclair Village (Oakland), CA

Nestled in the green lush hills of Oakland is A Great Good Place for Books is a friendly place to browse and find your next favorite book, with the able aid of owner Kathleen, who loves to host events for debut authors! I bought a copy of Ana of California when I popped in to sign books in July.

IMG_6951

_______

Bank of Books – Malibu (Point Dume Village) [NO LONGER IN BUSINESS WAAAA 😦  ].

It’s not easy to keep a bookstore afloat, even one by the sea in beautiful Malibu….The staff at Bank of Books Malibu were knowledgeable, dedicated, and – this being Malibu – super chill and cool. I wish them all the best and look forward to hearing from them in their next literary endeavors. (Maybe this is the chance to write that novel or memoir?)

IMG_6799

_______

Bart’s Books Ojai, CA

I walked into the courtyard at this outdoor bookstore about an hour before sunset, and met Matt, Rachel, their artist friend who was keeping them company, and the store cat.

IMG_2382

IMG_2384

I considered trying to get myself locked in overnight, but with kids waiting in the car, I settled for buying my son the next volume in the Lord of the Rings saga.

_______

Book Passage  Corte Madera and San Francisco, CA

“Mecca for book tours,” is how Book Passage  was described to me by another bookseller, so naturally I was thrilled to join a book panel here. With a history of hosting super-duper-star authors, these booksellers exuded warmth and hospitality even for a group of debut authors. I could spend a week in there without tiring of finding new great books to read. And their cafe would make it possible to survive doing it. With an outpost in San Francisco’s Ferry Building, you could make a day of visiting both by ferry.

Ann Lamott & me

Ann Lamott & me

_______

Books Inc.  San Francisco, Berkeley, Alameda (and more)…CA

Books Inc. has some of the friendliest booksellers you’ve ever met. I decided to try to visit every one during a whirlwind trip to the Bay Area, and did pretty well, visiting this venerable indie’s locations in Opera Plaza, Pacific Heights (Laurel Village), the Marina, Alameda, and Berkeley, signing copies of Shelter Us at each location. Below is Books Inc. Laurel Village, where I will be hosting a book party August 27.

IMG_6966

_______

Book Soup  West Hollywood, CA

The She Writes Press Spring 2015 National Book Tour made it’s L.A. stop at Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. This was my first public reading of Shelter Us, and I was thrilled to have a “warm-up” before my official Launch Party at Diesel.

IMG_6817

Book Soup bestsellers

_______

The Booksmith  San Francisco, CA

This store has a collection that does justice to its location on Haight Street, from bestsellers to emerging authors and novelty books “Big Boobs” and “Big Butts.” It was open-minded of them to welcome Shelter Us into their mix.

IMG_6969

_______

Christopher’s Books  San Francisco, CA

Christopher’s is a charming neighborhood bookstore that will order anything you need, and welcomed me to sign Shelter Us for its customers.

IMG_6980

_______

Copperfield’s Books  Santa Rosa, CA

We had a ball at Copperfields, another of Northern California’s “indie chains” — independent bookstores with a handful of outposts that seem to thrive. Copperfield’s Santa Rosa, one of the largest, hosted me for a discussion of family function and dysfunction in fiction, with fellow She Writes Press author Betsy Graziani Fasbinder (Fire & Water)

 

Diesel Bookstore Brentwood, Oakland, and Larkspur, CA

Diesel Brentwood is my local independent bookstore, and I was honored to have my official Launch Party there. Located in the Brentwood Country Mart, Diesel’s friendly and welcoming staff will find you whatever you need, then you can get a coffee or a tasty lunch and sit in the courtyard by the fireplace enjoying your new purchase.

Photographer at Diesel

My videographer takes his work very seriously.

Diesel with Hutson

Good friends still show up after all these years!

My hometown crowd at Diesel Bookstore

My hometown crowd at Diesel Bookstore

_______

Green Apple Books on the Park  San Francisco, CA

The Sunset has a sunny store to call its own. Next door to one of the best burrito places in the city.

IMG_6964

_______

The Grove San Diego, CA

On my San Diego swing, I stopped by The Grove to say hello, because I’d heard wonderful things fellow She Writes Press authors. A welcoming space in funky South Park neighborhood, it’s the go-to shop for books, gifts, knitting, and general good vibes. Old school coffee house across the street, and ice cream next door. What more could you ask for?

Grove 1

_______

Mysterious Galaxy San Diego and Redondo Beach, CA

I met Mysterious Galaxy’s Managing Party Terry Gilman at the Long Beach Literary Women festival, an 800-reader literary mega-fest for which Mysterious Galaxy was the bookseller, so I figured they could handle an off-site event for little ol’ me. They graciously set up a beautiful table at Hotel Palomar’s pool deck for a party honoring PATH. But visit their brick and mortar stores to find amazing thrillers and mysteries.

Mysterious Galaxy 2

_______

Pages: a Bookstore  Manhattan Beach, CA

What could be better than books by the beach? How about amazing readings? And did I mention homemade luscious ice cream nearby? Manhattan Beach is the whole package.

Pages Bookstore, Manhattan Beach, CA

_______

Small World Books Venice, CA

Small World Books is the best bookstore in Venice, California. Its selection of books make me want to take everything home and not emerge for a week until I’m done reading and ready for the next batch. Owner Mary brought herself and my book to a house party for Shelter Us, and fit right into the home-crowd vibe.

_______

Stories  Echo Park (L.A.), CA

I walked into Stories and met bookseller Alex, who told me the short and strong history of this cozy, charming bookstore. In November 2008, in the midst of a failing economy, Stories opened its doors and has thrived ever since. Stories hosts a diverse calendar of events, from book release parties, comedy shows, live music, and community meetings, and boasts a cafe with baked goods from Home Boy Bakery and The Village Bakery.

_______

The Last Bookstore  DTLA, CA (that’s downtown L.A., y’all)

Visiting L.A.? This bookstore is the kind you visit for the space. The former site of a bank, my favorite space in this massive, two-story, gothic-feeling bookstore is the vault, where I found the Bartlett’s Book of Quotations from the early part of the 20th C. and Chaim Potok’s My Name is Asher Lev, for a couple bucks each. Also, they hosted a great 3-author panel with Gina Nahai and Jessamyn Hope.

Unicorn Books & Gifts Ramona, CA

Owners Julia and Stacey of Unicorn Books and Gifts have created a beautiful sanctuary of books, gifts, crystals and other loveliness in this quiet town in eastern San Diego county. I loved visiting a town I’d never seen before, and when Robert from Ramona Naturals dropped in with fresh baked cookies, I knew for sure it was worth the trip!


IMG_6922
Ramona 2_______

Upstart Crow, San Diego, CA

In San Diego’s Seaport Village, amidst the gift and souvenir shops, The Upstart Crow is a refuge of comfy chairs, giant Checkers set, books, gifts, and weekly live music.

Upstart 2

_______

Warwicks La Jolla, CA

If happen to find yourself in La Jolla, California, consider yourself lucky on many levels. There is, of course, the beautiful coastline where you can be entranced by the sea otters (or are they seals? sea lions?) as they lounge on the rocks and beach or play in the water, or you can don a wetsuit and get in with them and other snorkelers. But there is also Warwicks, the oldest continuously family-owned and operated bookstore in the country and I was honored to walk into this gorgeous, spacious store and meet some of their friendly, knowledgeable staff, including John and Tammy. Find more of its history on its website. If you get yourself to La Jolla, go to Warwicks and ask for an autographed copy of Shelter Us!

Shelter Us is in good company on the shelves at Warwicks.

Shelter Us is in good company on the shelves at Warwicks.

warwicks 1

 

 

 

Connecticut

Diane’s Books  Greenwich, CT

Diane's Books, Greenwich, CT

Diane’s Books, Greenwich, CT

_______

Elm Street Books  New Canaan, CT  

IMG_7045

_______

Massachusetts

Booksmith Musicsmith Orleans, MA

I wandered in here on the recommendation of Orleans other indie bookstore (yes, 2) and was greeted by Erin, Matt and Lady. Hope to return on my next visit to Massachusetts.

Booksmith, Orleans, MA

Booksmith, Orleans, MA

_______

Brewster Bookstore  Brewster, MA

Brewster Books, Brewster, MA

Brewster Books, Brewster, MA

_______

Bunch of Grapes  Vineyard Haven, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

IMG_2552

_______

Edgartown Books  Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Busy busy Edgartown Books!

Busy busy Edgartown Books!

IMG_2548

 

_______

Main Street Books  Orleans, MA

Main Street Books, Orleans, MA

Main Street Books, Orleans, MA

_______

Titcomb’s Bookshop  Sandwich, MA

IMG_7195

 

_______

Where the Sidewalk Ends Bookstore  Chatham, MA

IMG_7212 IMG_7213

 

New Hampshire

Morgan Hill Bookstore, New London, New Hampshire

This small town, not too far from Boston, has been a favorite spot for my family on trips to New England. Although under the ownership of a Boston transplant who now resides locally, three booksellers hail from Berkeley and the East Bay, so I felt right at home!

 

New Jersey

Watchung Books  Montclair, NJ

I had the pleasure of introducing author Jenny Milchman to her hometown crowd in Montclair, NJ. She believes in epic road trip book tours — 7 months is her record, “car schooling” the kids in the back seat. She’s my book tour hero.

Introducing the fabulous suspense writer Jenny Milchman

Introducing the fabulous suspense writer Jenny Milchman. (My aren’t we photogenic?) But see the book in the bottom right corner, Billy’s Booger? I went home with a copy.

_______

Words Bookstore  Maplewood, NJ

Bookseller Jonah Zimile and family started a bookstore because the community was losing its only bookstore, and decided to make it not only a welcoming place to people of all abilities, but also a vocational training spot for adults with autism. Besides being a great bookstore, doesn’t that just make you want to hug it? What a special place.

Words Maplewood 1

New York

Book Culture New York, NY

Entering Book Culture from the steamy summer day was a visit to paradise, and not only for its AC. It is an oasis of loveliness, and you could just tell its booksellers knew they had the best job in the world.

Book Culture, NYC

Book Culture, NYC

_______

The Golden Notebook  Woodstock, NY

The Golden Notebook, Woodstock, NY

The Golden Notebook, Woodstock, NY, with bookseller James holding my friend Hollye Dexter’s memoir, Fire Season.

The Golden Notebook, Woodstock, NY

The Golden Notebook, Woodstock, NY

_______

Inquiring Minds  New Paltz, NY

Inquiring Minds, New Paltz, NY

_______

Merritt Bookstore  Millbrook, NY

Merritt, Millbrook, NY

Merritt, Millbrook, NY

_______

Northshire Books  Saratoga Springs, NY

Northshire Books, Saratoga Springs, NY

Northshire Books, Saratoga Springs, NY

_______

Oblong Books  Rhinebeck, NY

Oblong Books, Rhinebeck, NY

Oblong Books, Rhinebeck, NY

_______

Spotty Dog Books & Ale  Hudson, NY

Spotty Dog, Hudson, NY

Spotty Dog, Hudson, NY

Pennsylvania

Big Blue Marble  Philadelphia, PA

This neighborhood indie was the generous host of my Philadelphia literary debut with Deliver Me: True Confessions of Motherhood. A true gem, it builds community and support the written word with its programming, book clubs, and events. I didn’t get to stop here on my Shelter Us tour…yet, but will definitely get back here as soon as possible.

_______

Doylestown Books  Doylestown, PA

Doylestown Bookshop, Doylestown, PA.

Doylestown Bookshop, Doylestown, PA.

_______

Newtown Bookshop, Newtown, PA

Newtown Bookshop is my other “home away from home” bookstore. In Bucks County, PA, a fifteen minute drive from my husband’s parents’ home, I always make it a point to come in and get something here. A previous owner hosted a book reading for Deliver Me: True Confessions of Motherhood, attended by immediate family and friends, and current owner Kathy graciously selected Shelter Us as a staff pick! How could I not love it?

 

Whew! That was a lot of bookstores. What’s your favorite? I’ll try to visit and share it here.

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s