I complain a lot about the lack of indie bookstores in my area, but the truth is, there is one just a mile from my house. And it’s right next door to a great indie coffee shop that has the best mexican mochas (seriously…The. Best.). So why don’t I visit it more often? Well…
I’ve got a few issues.
First, it’s a bit new agey and I’m not. Actually, most of Morro Bay isn’t, so I’m always amazed that the bookstore has been around for almost 40 years (with the original owners!).
Second, it reeks of incense, which makes me sneeze. The ah-ah-ah. Nothing. Ah-ah-ah. Nothing. Ah-ah-ahchoo! kind of sneezes.
Third, it’s got the cutest little chapel out behind the store. My brother was actually married there. The first time (but not the second or third). And since ex-sister-in-law-the-first is a bit of bitch (sorry, but it’s true), I don’t like to be reminded of her. Which I am every time I’m there.
Sigh. As I said…issues.
But I really wanted to participate in the Where in the World Are You Reading meme*, and I didn’t want to feature my sort-of local go-to bookstore, which just happens to be a chain store 15 miles away. I considered featuring Chaucer’s, but it’s a good 2 hours away in Santa Barbara and that doesn’t really tell you much about my town (not that Coalesce does, either, but I’m trying to be a good local!).
So last week I sucked it up and stepped foot in Coalesce for the first time in about 8 years.
The inside is just as adorable as the outside, with it’s old wood floors and a funky chair and new and used (mostly used) books everywhere, comic strips and post cards and pictures taped to the shelves, robots hanging in the children’s section, and old concert and peace rally posters high up on the walls.
On the one hand, the owner and employee were super friendly and the other people in the store were fun (there were a few impromptu conversations…I might’ve highly recommended The Night Circus to someone). Aesthetically, I love this place…it has the perfect bookstore vibe (I think some of the new-agey-ness wore off on me). On the other hand, it still smells of incense and leans heavily towards stuff like this:
But I wandered around (and stealthily took pictures) and even ended up buying a book. Just not this one, even if it was prominently displayed:
And then I went next door and had a mexican mocha to cleanse myself of the lingering scent of incense.**
*Where in the World Are You Reading is a monthly themed meme cohosted by Kailana, Lisa, and Trish. A Linky Post will publish the first Thursday of each month, and you can submit your post(s) any time before the last Thursday in order to be included in the monthly wrap-up post.
**To be fair, Coalesce will order anything you want. I know this, because they ordered some obscure books once for me for a class I was taking. I’m just more of a browse-through-the-new-books kind of person, so I like the stores with the ginormous fiction sections. I also don’t like things that make me sneezy. So I’m afraid this is a doomed relationship, even if I adore the hell out of the building.