America, bibliophiles, consider yourselves warned. Walking into this store is like stumbling upon the island of the Lotus Eaters. You will forget everything about yourself and just gaze slack-jawed at the lovely, thoughtful selection of books, at the lovelier people selling them, at the sidelines, at the collection of berets, at the donuts. You will want to stay here!
In fact, it’s so comfortable here that after two minutes of pleasantries with the booksellers, I pull up a chair and sit…and sit…and sit. And then we disassemble the universe and bookselling and books and life, and everything seems to slip into place and click. And I realize that the coolest thing about this project is that to a person, across this country, I’m meeting exactly the people in a community whom I would want to know anyway.
And then as if to put an exclamation point on my thought, one of the booksellers produces a bottle of whiskey and we drink. Then the whiskey makes us all start laughing and we talk some more. And all the while customers are coming in and are browsing and buying books and entering into the conversations when they can, and the ones who can’t, well they just look askance and hurry out. And then I remember that I am supposed to ask them something specific about their store, but it seems forced, and so I just as quickly forget.
But I do remember that the owner named her store after a Mary Oliver poem. I also remember something about tourists and squirrel-based economics. There was also talk of giraffes….
I hate to gush and i’m sure this seems over the top, but while all of the bookstores I’ve been to and all the people I’ve met have been super cool, if you find yourself anywhere on the west coast, make a beeline to this store on the Oregon coast. It’s a different kind of special.