Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Independent Bookstores: Copperfield Books

(Repost of a missing post as yet unrestored by Blogger)

When people go to drink wine in California, most of the time they think of Napa County, an area just north northeast of San Francisco, but given a choice, I'm going to go where most people aren't, in this case, that place is Sonoma County, which lies due north of San Francisco, one imaginary line away from it's "sexier" neighbor.  

I love Napa County, and Sonoma County isn't exactly deserted but when I see limousines pull into a grape farm, I get the distinct feeling the experience is more Hollywood than Healdsburg, and I'll take Healdsburg over Hollywood anyday.
Hollywood and Vine:::::::Matheson and West
 Healdsburg is Andy and Aunt Bee's Mayberry with good restaurants, cute shoes and a Copperfield Book Store, one of the reasons I fell in love with this small Sonoma county town.  

The lovely thing about opening your own chain of book stores as Barney Brown and Paul Jaffe have done, is that you can make each one an experience unique to its surroundings, not that there's anything wrong with comforting homogeneity, but when you have to leave a bookstore to go see what town you're in, maybe a little shakeup is in order.

 Bovolo is one such shakeup.

There are any number of bookstores where you can get Corporate Coffee at five bucks a pop, but how many book stores will sell you a salted caramel affogato at 9am.  

The unbelievably good restaurant attached to the bookstore, Bovolo will do so.  They also offer things like hot apple fritters served with a maple crème fraiche dipping sauce, but I was shocked to find there are limits to how much sugar I can eat before noon.
Healdsburg is also in an area that smart rich authors flock to for its physical beauty and for the short hour drive from San Francisco so you're likely to get a signed book like the one my husband picked up, though in the case of his book, I doubt the physicists who signed his copy of ? are rich.  

They may be famous, just not to me.  

Have I mentioned my husband is an extreme geek? 

 In fact, I'd give you the title of the book, but he's not here right now and neither is the book.  He carries it with him in his briefcase.  I'm not sure why. It's not very helpful in his job but maybe the laugh factor is.  

There's a chapter on why the government insists your wine be radioactive or you can't buy it.  Turns out radioactivity is the only way the government knows how to tell your wine was made from grapes instead of crude oil, which suggest government employees should drink more wine.  

I think the DMV experience would be vastly improved should they decide to take up my suggestion.  I know mine would if I was drinking.

By the time I write my own bargain book adventure for Bargain Book Bonanza, I'll try to get it away from him long enough to share it with you, but until then, if you're wandering around north of San Francisco, stop in at one of the Copperfield Book stores and hug someone.

If you stop in at the one in Healdsburg, have an affogato while you're there.

The nice smart people who make it for you will even explain to you what you're drinking, unless it was just my clueless facial expression which led to this largess.

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  1. I have no clue what affogato is but I want one-- even if it is coffee! It sounds so exotic!

    Did you know my baby brother lives in SF? Thanks to your independent bookstore posts, I will have all my sightseeing plotted when I get out there for a visit.

    And there is even a sale section! Woohoo!

  2. I am going to drag my boyfriend this coming Saturday to that place asap! Haha. I have never really ventured around Sonoma but I think this is the perfect excuse to start. Thanks so much for letting me know of this place. It looks like heaven. And I will definitely try an affogato! Coffee and books.. sounds like a good idea to me.

  3. Lesa,
    It's good for summer so you have to learn! I didn't know about your brother and when you do get out here, let me know and I'll meet you up there for a bookie afternoon. There are so many more good bookstores in the area.

  4. Jillian,
    If you enjoy wine, and only want to go to one winery, Michel-Schulmberger. It's small and you have to make an appointment, but the wine is some of the best I've had in either Napa or Sonoma county and the property is beautiful beautiful beautiful and they let you bring a picnic if you want, but there's also an amazing restaurant in Healdsburg called Willie's Seafood and Raw bar. They do amazing small plates.

  5. +JMJ+

    It sounds like a great place for two bibliophiles to go on a date! =)

    Once, when I was out with a male friend (not a boyfriend, though), we wandered into a really big bookstore, intending to stay only as long as it took to see whether the placed carried certain titles we wanted. Naturally, we stayed for about an hour. =P It had a cafe and a frozen yogurt restaurant attached, but nothing with more substantial food--and that was the only reason we left as early as we did.

  6. Oooh, sounds good! I sounds like I could be there an hour or eight!
    And I love the chic Mayberry feel of it!

  7. Blogger lost my comment but I still want to try an affogato even if it is coffee-- it sounds so exotic!

    This bookstore is added to my list of SF things to do: see bridge, see China Town, see Wharf, head north for big trees, wine and bookstores. the trees are north, right?

  8. I always love the small town flavor. Looks like a lovely place to visit -- I'll have to add it to by bucket list of places to see and things to do :)

  9. Leslie,
    You'd like it I think. It's nice but still approachable and everything is within very easy walking distance. love you..

  10. Lesa,
    The trees are north. When you're ready to head this way, let me know. I'll give you a few more things for your to do list!

  11. GG,
    It's one of my favorite small towns in California. The downtown is off the beaten path and everything about it speaks to a lot of care. You should definitely visit if you're up that way.

  12. Well Blogger deleted my previous comment so I'll comment again.

    I will try to visit this town and this bookstore on Friday possibly. Might even go to the beach after.. ;) But thank you so much for letting me know about this place! I have never heard of it and it's nice to know that there's actually West Coast bloggers! Is it just me or are there no book/author events where we live? :(

  13. Jillian, I wish I'd known you were interested in that sort of thing. I got an e-vite to a bay area writers event a while ago, but deleted it since I'm not in the area. I suggest you call City Lights and ask them if there are any events or how to find them. If anyone would know, they would.

  14. City Lights is a gorgeous bookstore, but it's about an hour drive away from me! I'm from the Bay but not necessarily in SF :/ But I will try that!

  15. Ack! That's a bit of a drive but I do think some of those events are like once a month and I'd called bookstores closer to you, especially the non-corporate ones. I'll still send you the info if I get another e-vite.

  16. Thanks so much, Tracy! An hour seems far away but it's not that bad now that I think about it. It's just the traffic and crossing the bridge but it's perfectly fine to go to during our weekends.

  17. I can't wait for my very own, personal tour of your area, Tracy!

  18. Oh my gosh! I grew up in Santa Rosa. You have no idea how much I miss Cooperfield's Books. Back in the 80's I was one of their best customers (back then it was a very small store). They knew to save the first Stephen King book for me. I was always the first one in when one of his books came out.
    Over time as they grew my taste in books grew thanks to their incredible selection. Oh I miss this store!

  19. Linnie,
    The day I have planned is less book than this, but even if you hate it, which you won't, promise.. I'll have enough fun for both of us!

  20. Sara,
    I do love a small book store. There's just no comparison to the mega stores. Just south of Santa Rosa is where we always stay when we're in the area. Where are you now?


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