In honor of National Independent Bookstore day, I am thrilled to talk about some amazing bookstores that I love.

With Anthony and Sofia at Books, Inc!

First up is Books, Inc. with a genealogy going back to 1851, making it the oldest independent bookstore in the West. Books, Inc. currently has 10 branches throughout the Bay Area. The Campbell branch was incredibly supportive of A DOOR BETWEEN US, providing books, folding chairs and other items for an outdoor book signing for my launch in September 2020. They’ve got a great selection of new and classic books. And their super knowledgeable staff can help you find a reading selection or gift in any genre.If you stop by, say hello to Anthony, Robin, and Sofia for me!

Next is Hicklebee’s in San Jose. Hicklebee’s is a much beloved local institution that has been around since 1979 and is focused on “promoting literacy and love-of-books to readers of all ages around the world.” Both of my children did field trips to the bookstore where they were enthralled by book readings and the store’s fun child-focused decor.

With Carol Muller at Hicklebee’s!

Although Hicklebee’s targets younger readers, it does have an adult section lovingly curated by Carol Muller. Carol has been in the book business for decades including many years writing the Books section of the San Jose Mercury. She hosts a yearly ‘book tasting’ event at Hicklebee’s where she previews some of the season’s best reads. I was lucky enough to get to present A DOOR BETWEEN US at one of those events and loved hearing her witty and insightful reviews of the other half-dozen books she presented.

Finally is Recycle Bookstore which has two locations in Campbell and San Jose and has been buying, selling, and trading used books for forty years. The Campbell branch is right on the main drag and my family often ends up in Recycle Books after a meal out or a visit to the Farmer’s Market on Sundays. It’s so much fun browsing through their incredible selection that makes it so easy to find a must-have new read for each member of the family.

Presenting at the Recycle Bookstore Bookclub

Recycle Books hosts a monthly book club that is run by Lloyd Russell, aka The Book Sage. I presented at the book club just last night and was super impressed by the quality of conversation and the questions. You can catch Lloyd on his blog and, more recently, a brand new podcast he’s doing in conjunction with KCAT in Los Gatos.

All three of these bookstores are serving their communities in so many ways and are creating shared spaces for readers of all ages to come together. On this National Independent Booksellers Day, check one of them (or all three!) out!

Author: Ehsaneh

Ehsaneh Sadr is an Iranian-American novelist and activist with a PhD in International Relations. She has worked, in various capacities, on campaigns related to Palestinian human rights, Iranian sanctions, access to credit for rural villagers, and safe spaces for children in crisis. She currently works with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition to create the cultural and infrastructure changes needed to support a shift away from carbon-based modes of transportation. Ehsaneh currently lives in Northern California with her husband and two children but also considers Washington DC, Salt Lake City, and Tehran to be home.