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Favorite Local Bookstores

Members share their top places in the West to dive into a good book.

Via Readers
man reads a book at Sundance Books and Music, image
Photo caption
Reno's Sundance Books and Music calls the historic Levy Mansion home.


Bob’s Beach Books Lincoln City, Ore. “The best on the Oregon coast,” Paula Miller asserts. “The building looks small from the outside, but it’s like Doctor Who’s TARDIS time machine—it seems to go on and on.”

The Bookery Placerville, Calif. “You can spend hours in a little corner finding things you never knew you always wanted to read,” Lynne Hamp says of this “darling used bookstore.”

The Book Parlor Burns, Ore. “Having weathered competition from big-box bookstores and Amazon, the Parlor celebrates its 20th anniversary this year,” Ramona Bishop writes. “It’s a place to visit, browse, and buy.” (541) 573-2665.

Bookshop Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, Calif. “One of the businesses that brought Santa Cruz back to life after the devastating earthquake of 1989,” Carolyn Coleman writes. “A gathering place for serious readers.”

Hicklebee’s San Jose. “Takes one back to the days when those who sold books had read them and could inspire children to read, play out their deepest thoughts, and still be thirsty for more,” Ollia Yenikomshian says.

The King’s English Bookshop Salt Lake City. “The staff have actually read the current books,” Sharon Alderman tells us. “All you need to do is say, ‘I loved X,’ and they can show you other titles you’re sure to love.”

Omnivore Books On Food San Francisco. “The collection expands beyond cookbooks to memoirs, periodicals, and more, with a focus on antiquarian books,” Sean Timberlake says. “And the owner sells pastured eggs!”

Petunia’s Place Fresno, Calif. “Although their shop is small, the owners can describe every children’s book of the past 35 years,” says Diana Stevens. Elaine Sotiropulos notes you’ll also find “good reads for grown-ups.”

The Rediscovered Bookshop Boise. “The staff are helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly, and know their customers by name,” Janet Davis says. “They create community through story times, readings, and wonderful events.”

Sundance Books and Music Reno. “Think our fair city is nothing more than casinos?” asks Margaret Dalrymple. “Come to this bright haven of civility housed in a historic mansion.”

Tsunami Books Eugene, Ore. “Sometimes I need my car trunk for the books I can’t resist,” Quinton Hallett admits. “The shop also boasts live music and off-the-charts poetry readings.”

Wallace Books Portland. “The distinctive little blueand- yellow house is a miniature Powell’s Books, loaded floor to ceiling in every room with more treasures than one can resist,” Mary Bothwell writes.

While Away Books Roseburg, Ore. “Nooks and crannies beckon with thousands of books to choose from,” says Brenda Weber. “The friendlystaff will make your favorite hot drink — or you can let them surprise you.”

Photography by Asa Gilmore

This article was first published in November 2014. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.