Even in these days of avatars, Sims and anonymous surfing, Sacramentans still love the intimacy and vibe of old-fashioned independent bookstores. Check out these favorite local bookshops that regularly host book clubs, author readings and other engaging community events.
Time Tested Books
1114 21st St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
This used bookseller hosts monthly book club meetings and is well known for celebrating Sacramento’s past and present. The shop is home of The Sacramento Living Library, which presents monthly readings and talks that are free and open to the public. The topics are as diverse as the town; past lectures have highlighted Sacramento’s writers, theaters and music, as well as local history, crime and news makers. Whether someone’s taste runs to wine and gardening or stuntmen and classic rock, the living library series has something for everyone in the community.
Bookshelves on wheels make room for the 40 to 100 people who attend community events at Avid. Artists both local and world-renowned speak at the store; Avid was Ken Burns’ first stop to promote his miniseries “War.” A book club meets there each month; other regular events feature music and storytellers. Avid also sponsors offsite events for a number of charities and underwrites CapRadioReads for the local NPR station.
2814 35th St.
Sacramento, CA 95817
Part of the 40 Acres performing arts gallery and cultural center, underground is a hub of community engagement. There are frequent readings and lectures by African American authors and artists, as well as book club events, storytelling time for kids and lively panel discussions on a wide range of topics. The warm and welcoming environment makes underground books a popular place for locals to spend time.
513 2nd St.
Davis, CA 95616
The only used-book store in Davis, Logos is actually a not-for-profit operation; proceeds from last year’s sales sent $35K to Save the Children and Doctors without Borders. The shop is home to monthly club meeting, including ones where non-native French or Spanish speakers can discuss current events in their adopted tongue. There are other regular events featuring live music, including receptions for up and coming artists. Poetry readings are popular at Logos; Sacramento’s Poet Laureate has joined others for readings at the shop.
Sunlight of the Spirit Books & Gifts
2314 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
Sunlight is home to many inspirational community events, 12-step meetings, classes and seminars. Authors and other speakers often focus on spiritual awakening, healing from addictions and alternative paths to health, wellness, and personal development. Although these themes are shared, speakers come to the bright, cheery store with a wide range of viewpoints and backgrounds. This seems like a natural situation for a business that features wall-hangings with quotes from Jimi Hendrix, Albert Einstein and the Dalai Lama.
Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers animals and community issues. She has volunteered and worked for many organizations helping animals and people.
Her work can be found at Examiner.com.