The Touchstone tour was bracketed by my two beloved local bookshops. Capitola Bookcafe started things off on January 7th with a champagne toast, glasses (REAL glasses) of a very nice champagne for everyone at the event. It was a very nice event. I think. Anyway, I had a good time.
Then on the 26th I did the final event at the local landmark, Bookshop Santa Cruz. I’ve loved Bookshop since I was an undergraduate at UCSC, when it was located in a rickety old brick building with wooden floors on the north side of Pacific Avenue, very near a landmark of my childhood where my father used to buy his paperbacks and smokes, and gas with the owners about fishing, at United Cigar. Buildings made of unreinforced brick don’t do well in earthquakes, and for some years after the 1989 quake, Bookshop was Booktent Santa Cruz out in the parking lot in back.
They’ve been in their new digs, on the other side of Pacific, for years now, but the Coonertys still own it, and Walt Whitman still looks over your shoulder when you’re there. Like this picture, taken by local photographers Red Bat—
If you want places like Bookshop Santa Cruz to continue to thrive, think about plunking down full price for the next hardback at your local independent, and give the online people a miss, just once in a while. That way the next time you want just to wander among the books, or ask for recommendations, or see your favorite author, the shop will still be open for your pleasure.We love all bookstores, but we are especially grateful for the hard working independents.