I effectively had a seven hour “lay over.” My plane arrived in the little town of North Bend, OR at 8AM (I flew in with the Governor of Oregon, nice to see him flying commercial and working the entire flight), but Keith and Kyle didn’t arrive until 5PM. What to do? Set up shop in a bookstore, of course. This is a real small town, in the sense that it isn’t a tourist town made cute for visitors. These people live and work here, and they visit their bookstore. Books by the Bay is a used bookstore with lovely coffee shop. I was reading The Brothers Karamazov and was just starting the Grand Inquisitor section so I settled down with some great coffee and quiche while eavesdropping on the tables around me.
Many of the books are mass market paperbacks at great prices. As with many used bookstores, there’s a wide selection of romance and mysteries. However, every genre is available from history to non-fiction to young adult to literature. I was impressed by the support for local authors. These books were prominently displayed at the front of the store. Readings and signings are held along with books clubs.
It is an inviting environment. This isn’t the musty used bookstore that entices a treasure hunt. Books by the Bay is bright, airy, and nicely organized. The books may be a bit worn, but the surroundings are not.
Books by the Bay is a place for readers. In the couple of hours that I camped out in the coffee shop, I heard an intense discussion about a novel that would put any book group to shame. These women picked apart every character and plot device. One of the local authors dropped by to chat and check on his books. The people at the table behind me discussed books and travel plans while looking for books about their trip. Everyone knew someone in the cafe. No one entered without stopping to say hi to a friend. Books by the Bay is the epitome of the community bookstore. Even for strangers like myself, it’s a lovely place to spend a morning.
Books by the Bay
1875 Sherman Ave.
North Bend, OR 97459