An Embarrassment of Riches for Readers
I am an avid reader. Avid is actually an understatement; voracious and compulsive are closer to reality. I cannot afford to buy a brand new copy of every book I want to read, but sometimes, checking books out of the library isn’t enough. I want to own books, so I can lend them out, or re-read them if I choose to. The answer, for me, is used bookstores.
My sister’s mother-in-law, Mary Ann, is also an avid (voracious, compulsive) reader. She spends several months a year here, visiting from New York. Knowing how much she loves to read, I happily volunteered to take her to my favorite bookstores.
Eclectic Books was first on our list. It is located on Murrieta Hot Springs in the same shopping center as Fresh and Easy. I spend lots of time there, with my writing group, writing on my own, and of course, shopping for books. They have good, inexpensive coffee, and arts and crafts of every kind, made by local artists. The walls are lined with paintings, but best of all, the store is packed with books. Tess, the proprietress, carries everything, from Christian living books, to local independent press horror. Eclectic also carries many new books. If you want something you don’t see, it can be ordered, or put on a “request list” that Tess shares with her customers. It is one of the most comfortable bookstores I have been in. Everything about it invites you to linger, from the comfy couches and board games, to the rows and rows of books that beg to be looked at. Mary Ann and I left with about ten books, including four for my sister-in-law. Eclectic Books has a huge selection of her current favorite author, Debbie Macomber. Eclectic Books is a great place for lovers of any type of genre fiction. They carry political thrillers, sci-fi, and horror. They have a huge children’s and young adult section. Eclectic Books also holds an Open Mic Night every second and fourth Saturday. There are two book clubs, one for young adults, and one for adults.
Mary Ann and I went to Paperback Shack next. I have lived in the Temecula area for almost 20 years, and I have been shopping there since I arrived. Paperback Shack is located on Ynez Road, in the Tower Plaza Shopping center. The bookstore is larger than it seems from the outside. Joanne, the owner, carries a large selection of recently released used books, as well as walls of westerns, romance, and other genre literature. Paperback Shack is a great place to purchase children’s books. You can find many series, such as “Junie B. Jones” for the little ones, or “Series of Unfortunate Events” for older kids. Joanne always has a great selection of bargain books. Mary Ann found a bundle pack of romance novels that was priced at one dollar for the pack of four. We purchased about eight books at Paperback Shack.
I wanted to treat Mary Ann to one of my favorite restaurants for lunch. As luck would have it, Gourmet Italia is only steps away from Paperback Shack. We were among the first lunch diners to arrive. Alex, the owner, was his usual charming self. Angelo, his right-hand-man, waited on us. Mary Ann ordered manicotti, and Angelo talked me into a delicious salmon salad that Alex was thinking of putting on the menu. It was brilliant, reminiscent of the Sicilian salad, (oranges and mint) with the addition of crunchy fennel, arugula, and of course, a perfectly seasoned, piping hot piece of salmon. Mary Ann loved her meal, and I fairly begged Alex to include the salad on the regular menu. It was a delicious lunch, just as I knew it would be.
Our last stop of the day was Murrieta Bookshop. It is located on Kalmia not too far from the Murrieta Library. This was also a large bookstore. It is very well lit, with many books. Mary Ann headed for the romance section, and I stayed mostly in new releases. I was thrilled with the selection. We met up after a while, both of us with arms filled. I got several books for my kids, and some books I had been looking forward to reading.
Mary Ann and I had a wonderful time. We both restocked our bookshelves, had a delicious lunch, and supported small business owners; a nearly perfect afternoon.
If you are a reader, or you love someone who is, check these bookstores out. Money that goes into small businesses is money that goes into our community.
Eclectic Books 951-445-4320 located at 39520 Murrieta Hot Springs Rd. Ste 218 in Murrieta
Paperback Shack 951-694-9255 located at 27515 Ynez Rd. Temecula
Murrieta Bookshop 951-698-2255 located at 41539 Kalmia St. Ste 108 Murrieta