The indie bookstore makes a comeback

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Irene Cooper

 

The Broadside
The independent bookstore is perennially declared dead as the dinosaurs, but several Bend businesses are not only thriving, they’re infusing new life into the local literary scene.
Downtown offers two unique spots for both new and used books. At Dudley’s Bookshop Café on Minnesota Avenue, customers can peruse the stacks and tables downstairs for both contemporary fiction and classics, or head upstairs with a coffee and snack to a comfy couch and free Wi-Fi. Most of the inventory is quality used books, but Dudley’s offers new editions by local writers as well. The bulletin board posts upcoming dates for Radical Readings, and the store hosts live music most Fridays, including the Celtic jam every third Friday. Dudley’s will trade store credit—books or drinks—for quality used books.

Comics are a big part of the draw up the street at Pegasus Books. The Minnesota Avenue bookstore provides comic-lovers with the latest in their favorite series, and is also home to an impressive selection of used books and action-figure toys.

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The staff at Camalli’s Book Company posts its literary recommendations throughout this clean, well-lighted space on Simpson Avenue (across from Ray’s Food Place). Camalli’s offers new books in a variety of genres from recent fiction to poetry and philosophy. A number of shelves are devoted to local writers such as Suzanne Burns, Ellen Waterston and Peter Lovering. Events include readings from local authors.

At Between the Covers, on the corner of Bond and Delaware Streets on Bend’s west side, light streams through stained glass windows onto dark wood floors and fixtures displaying the mix of contemporary fiction and Pacific Northwest small-press offerings. Rows of glass bins of candy honor the building’s corner-store roots, and the space retains a neighborhood feel, updated and urban. The courtyard is a great space for a good read, and can host book club meetings and poetry readings. The staff is quick with a recommendation, and special orders can usually be filled within a day.

Picks from the pros:

Anna Roberts of Dudley’s recommends anything by Cormac McCarthy, and Per Petterson’s “Out Stealing Horses.”

Cameron Saunders of Pegasus Books likes classics such as Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” and the short stories of Mark Twain.

For poetry, Camalli book pro and local writer Jonathan Ludwig suggests Jesse Ball’s “March Book,” described as “fables/folk tales mashed into [the] modern world.”

Kaisha Jaques of Between the Covers recently enjoyed book club favorite “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows, and is currently savoring Emile Zola’s “The Belly of Paris.”

To paraphrase poet and City Lights Bookstore founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the independent bookstore “is a finger on the dyke holding back the flood of unknowing.” It is also a great place to feel the pulse of our local literary scene.

You may contact Irene Cooper at icooper@cocc.edu

 

 

 

 

 

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