Every year, a group of us gather in Bend, OR for a weekend of hiking, meandering about town, talking (lots of talking) and relaxing. Usually, we land in Redmond and drive straight out to Bend, but this time Keri, Nancy and I stopped by Paulina Springs Books before dashing to our view of the Three Sisters.
Paulina Springs Books sits in the middle of 6th Street amidst cute cafes (we loved the Toucan Cafe for lunch, try the special Santiago mate drink) and shops. The store is a joy to walk around with used, hardbacks and paperbacks all stocked together. There’s plenty of space, a luxury, and Keri said “what I like about this store is that most of the books are facing out.” Just about everyone agrees, the books facing out catch our eye. Also, my favorite bookstore attribute are the shelf-talkers, I tend to read them before looking at the books on the shelves, and there were plenty in this store. It was with a shelf talker that Nancy found The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay and pulled me over because a book about bookstores I had to read. I’ve seen twitter chatter about the book, so I was happy to find it.
Paulina Springs Books is the sister store to the original Paulina Springs in Sisters, OR. They are owned and operated by a brother-sister team. Cynthia, the sister, leads the Redmond store that opened about 18 months ago. Cynthia was a school teacher and took on bookselling when she retired. She found that it took awhile for the locals to learn about the store and just when they started to gain some traction, the recession hit. But they are happy to be in Redmond and have a local following.
The store has large bestseller and staff pick sections which offer a discount, but Cynthia said the locals love regional books. They adore the area they live in and want to learn about it and explore it. I understand, you only need to be here for an hour before you’re trying to figure out how to relocate. Specifically, William L. Sullivan’s books fly off the shelves. I bought the next-to-last copy of his latest, Atlas of Oregon Wilderness, and we spent the weekend looking up hikes and trying out a few. It’s a terrific resource, the author describes the natural history of the area and a variety of hikes both long and short. In this part of the country, he gives important guidance, such as when the snow will melt so you know whether or not to bring your snow shoes. The photography offers a sample of the views and sights along the trail.
I asked Cynthia who Paulina was, and learned there never was one. Paulina is pronounced poe-line-a’ and is an Indian term used as a name throughout Central Oregon for a peak, a lake, mountains and a variety of businesses.
Cynthia and I chatted about the closing of the Book Barn in Bend last year. But, three new bookstores opened up in the last year. There is a big box store in the area, but it hasn’t squeezed out competition. The number of stores has helped bring in authors for events and enriched the entire community. Hmmm, I wonder how many bookstores the girls want to visit?
Paulina Springs Books
422 SW 6th St.
Redmond, OR 97756