Strolling through Books Inc., Santa Clara Square’s new bookstore, you can thumb through the latest New York Times bestsellers, travel books about the Caribbean or America’s national parks, biographies about Hilary Clinton or George. W. Bush, guides to Bible verses or Buddhism, and cookbooks for Japanese soul food or vegan cuisine. You can explore shrines for Harry Potter or Star Wars fans, or skim through coloring books for adults. Also spotted here are books by local authors, such as Clarence Robert Tower, the late Bea Lichtenstein (local interest) and Stacey Lee (young adult).
“There have been over 75 independent bookstores that opened nationally in the last year. This Santa Clara store will be the 12th Books Inc. store out there,” says Michael Tucker, president, owner and CEO of Books, Inc. “One of the things that bookstores still offer is discovery. You come in here and you can find new authors. We did over 1,500 author events at our Books Inc. stores just last year.”
“This bookstore has an active event schedule with book clubs, story times and author events,” says Cheenie Durham, store manager. “We are here to help the people in Santa Clara find the books they’re looking for.”
Books Inc. in Santa Clara will have Sunday Children’s Storytimes, a Nooner Book Club, a Reading Fresh Sci-Fi club and a Wondrous Works club for eight to 12 year-olds. A book club for readers of young adult fiction might also be established.
“We have over 300 book clubs registered with the Books Inc. bookstores,” Tucker says. “We also have a program where registered book club members can get a discount at our stores.”
“My daughter’s having a great time here; she loves the stuffed animals and books,” says Katie Bridges, visiting the store with her two year-old daughter.
Books Inc. in Santa Clara officially opened on July 26, along with Whole Foods Market, Lula’s Chocolates and Sur La Table. Coming soon to the 125,000 square foot shopping center are COMEBUY Tea, CorePower Yoga, Puesto and other eateries. On the morning of July 26, representatives from these businesses and city officials gathered in front of Whole Foods Market for an opening ceremony. The brief appearance of animal rights protesters outside the supermarket did not seem to deter the crowds from picking up store coupons, enjoying food samples and shopping at businesses throughout the plaza.
“This place is so needed here in Santa Clara,” says Mayor Lisa Gillmor. “I’m so excited that we’re going to have a first class premiere specialty grocery store, restaurants, shops and a destination for our workers and residents in Santa Clara. With my three children, I grocery shop on a daily basis and will be coming here. I also love mystery novels and that’s what I’ll be looking for at Books Inc. I’m also excited about the restaurants – such as Il Fornaio, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, Opa!, Specialty’s Cafe and Lula’s Chocolates.”