• Marcy Farrey

The best place to buy your next beach read? Beach Town Books

It's right there in the name! This lovely new and used bookstore in San Clemente is the perfect spot to pick up your next (several) great reads!

We had the pleasure of dropping into Beach Town Books over Labor Day weekend, and it was one of the most pleasant bookstore experiences I've had. We were warmly welcomed as soon as we entered, and to my surprise and great delight, there was free coffee! They had a Keurig machine so you could brew a quick coffee to sip while you browsed.

This bookstore maximizes its space, with plenty of quiet nooks and rooms to sit in and read. They do an excellent job of decorating the rooms and bookshelves to make the space feel inviting. It also helps that they ask YOU for your book recommendations--something that's normally reserved for the staff at most bookstores! There's a clipboard posted where you can walk up and write in your favorite books. I love this for so many reasons: First, you get to feel like you're contributing to the bookstore and leaving your mark in some way. So many bookstores take full advantage of the staff recommendations, but rarely do you see customer recommendations being openly solicited and up for all to see, moments after it is written down. Second, with all the places you can go online to write reviews these days, this feels like a welcome return to the basics, to the "analog" way of doing things, if you will. You don't need to get in front of a screen to make a recommendation for your fellow shoppers--you can do it right there in the store.

While it is a bit of a drive for us, this bookstore is definitely one I'd go out of my way to return to. So if you're ever in the area, be sure to stop in, grab a book, and then head to the beach!

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