Some say that the best little bookshop in California is at 2710 Chanticleer Avenue located on the Grey Bear’s Campus. This inviting Book Shop shares a building with the Computer Center behind the Thrift Store and Donations Center. It is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week and the foot traffic keeps increasing.
Kingsley Snow, one of the many erudite volunteers bringing experience and interest to the project said, “Of all the places that you can buy used books Grey Bears’ has the lowest prices and greatest variety!” Snow fills a sorting tray using a color-coded sequence. Regular customers with particular interests find their topics freshly stocked each week by nine volunteers working to make sure their clients won’t be disappointed.
A former publisher who spent a good part of his career with the San Francisco Chronicle, Snow knows his readership and goes the extra mile to meet their needs. He’s a fan of the Friday $5 bag when people stuff a grocery bag with books, pay their $5 and leave with million dollar smiles. Snow enjoys the Book Shop’s environment of inspiration and curiosity. There is a section for ancient to classic history, another for great poetry and a children’s wall.
Local writer, director and singer with the Mid County Choraliers, Millie McDonald brings her joy of reading to the bookshop twice a week. As a volunteer cashier she is pleased to see people of all ages coming through the door. Another section consists of records, CD’s and VHS movies and the shelf life of these selections is short. Record turntables are coming back and frequently young people come in for the LP selections. McDonald recalls that a former volunteer, Tony Seliskar, saw the need to have books separate from the popular thrift shop. The bookshop volunteers are grateful to Seliskar for his inspiration.
After McDonald rang up Isla Whitaker’s purchases, Isla told her of the delight it has been to find classics by Joyce and Hemingway and a great game book to give as gifts to her relatives and friends. It’s great to see students and seniors with small budgets find the perfect gift for a loved one. John Lukenoff, a volunteer with the Brown Bag group, brought his son Luke to see the campus. Luke, visiting from Chicago, says he’s never seen a thrift bookshop so organized and professional.
Having kept up with computer technology while volunteering over her 15 years as a Grey Bears’ volunteer, Donna Merriman is a computer book specialist. Merriman introduced me to Karen in the bookshop office who shared that when you shop Amazon.com you can designate Grey Bears to receive a percentage of your purchase.
However, at Grey Bears sharing these books with readers is priority. Consequently, the First Free Book Day happened in the fall with 5000 books serving many appreciative artists and teachers. Stop by at the best little used bookshop in town!
Donate books at any of three County locations: Grey Bears main campus, 2710 Chanticleer Ave in Santa Cruz; the Buena Vista Landfill Recycling Center in Watsonville; and the SLV Recycling Center, 9835 Newell Creek Road in Ben Lomond
Grey Bears Bookstore 2710 Chanticleer Ave Santa Cruz open every day, Mon-Sun, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. except Dec 24-25; and Dec 31-Jan 1. Access the Amazon connection through greybears.org