A picturesque, coastal community like Mendocino, California wouldn’t be complete without a charming, independent bookstore. Gallery Bookshop and Bookwinkle’s Children’s Books is the epitome of such a store. Located in an historic building at the corner of Main and Kasten streets, Gallery Bookshop has been a much-loved supplier of literary expeditions for Mendocino residents and visitors for decades.
Throughout its history, Gallery Bookshop has employed a friendly and devoted staff of booklovers, alongside a succession of distinguished shop cats, who have maintained its standing as one of the nation’s best independent bookstores. Owner Christie Olsen Day is dedicated to preserving the “magical” reputation of her shop. She has composed a store manifesto, which can be found on the shop’s website, and expresses the core values of the employees and patrons. In this manifesto, she states that Gallery Bookshop is a place to be quiet or social, browse or buy, but most importantly a place to experience kinship with fellow bookworms who recognize the value of printed literature.
The store is absolutely bursting with shelves of books, quirky displays, comfortable seating, and cozy nooks and corners – all set off by the stunning ocean views of the shop’s front windows. Expect to get lost there in the best ways possible! The current shop cat is the great Catsby, and he can typically be found lounging atop a high shelf or people-watching from beneath a table. If you’re extra lucky, Catsby might even join you for a snuggle while you dive into a new book!
All Mendocino visitors and residents can feel welcome in Gallery Bookshop, where merchandise and events are curated to appeal to all walks of life. The shop is a wonderful place to take the whole family – Bookwinkle’s Children’s Books, located inside Gallery Bookshop, invites children to explore classics and new releases alike in reading spaces designed just for little ones.
Gallery Bookshop is clearly invested in the Mendocino community, which is demonstrated by their event programming such as local authors nights, open book club meetings for adults, monthly teen council meetings, meet and greets with authors from all genres of literature, and other special occasions like for-benefit shopping nights and wine tastings. Additionally, the store hosts community-giving campaigns such as the Library Angel and Book Angel programs, which encourage customers to support school libraries and local children with limited access to books.
A trip to Gallery Bookshop is a great rainy-day activity, but you’ll find it’s worth your time even on beautiful days as well. Located walking-distance from Out of This World toy store and the Attic of Mendocino antique store, you can count on devoting an entire afternoon to simply browsing and collecting treasures. Just don’t forget to peruse the Gallery Bookshop merch! Their classic black t-shirts feature the attractive store logo printed in white, making for both a stylish memento and a great conversation-starter. It isn’t uncommon for folks to consider the shop to be the highlight of their vacation, and you’ll certainly enjoy telling your friends about the gem of a bookshop you found in beautiful Mendocino, CA!