Update: Sometimes a typo takes on meaning. I wrongly titled this “Second Changes,” originally. While I like that, it’s not the name of the store.
Brandy is opening a used bookstore in the location of the old Mockingbird Books. Brandy sold her share of Mockingbird and went on to work at Copperfield’s for several years. The two remaining partners of Mockingbirds opened a second Sonoma County location in Guerneville which is still in operation, then moved the Sebastopol store to Tracy, California.
When Brandy found a way she could open her own business, to her surprise, the front suite of the original location was still available to rent.
This makes Second Chances Used Books a much smaller store than Mockingbird, but I can already see that the inventory is carefully curated. Book lovers and discriminating gift buyers will always be able to find something here.
Unlike Mockingbird, Second Chances plans to buy books from customers as well, and I know Brandy will be keeping an eye on the inventory to see what turns over. For example, she and I were just talking about Elena Ferrante the other day. The Ferrante trend seems to have cooled, but will the announcement of a new book coming out change that?
Brandy has a lot to do before Saturday! A large part of the labor will be getting cleaned, listed books onto the shelves. I’ve offered to help but I hope a few other of her town friends can pitch in. The other retail tasks are daunting: setting up a credit card service; keeping track of the progress on her beautiful sign; making all the necessary connections with Amazon because she will be listing and selling online… it’s quite a list.
At times, it seems like there are lots of books. At others, it is clear that the books she has now will not fill the shelves she has now. And it’s clear she could use some more bookscases.
She has some lovely overstuffed chairs that we’ve dubbed The Three Sisters, because this is the kind of store that invites you to sit down and read.
I’ve observed an interesting phenomenon; seeing empty bookcases lining the walls, and orderly stacks of books on the floor, people come and knock on the door. They say, “You’re closing! It’s so sad!” It’s as if they walked past the empty suite for three months and never noticed everything. This isn’t bad; it gives the proprietor a chance to say when she’ll be opening, but it’s interesting. The other day a young man said he only comes up to Sebastopol two or three times a year, and clearly Mockingbird was still in place that last time.
I’ve been helping clean books and already I’m having the same problem I had in the previous store; I can’t touch a stack of books without finding ones I want, immediately. Even when it’s a topic that isn’t important to me, I still find them. Yesterday I was cleaning a batch of cookbooks and food books, and there were two gluten-free books, one atop the other. I know just who could use those.
I can’t wait for the opening. This is a rumor only, but there might be cake. I’m just saying.
Later that afternoon, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, I’ll be at the Sebastopol Library, 7014 Bodega Ave (corner of Bodega and High Street) helping with free gift wrapping for the gifts you bought downtown, like, maybe, at Second Chances!
The shop’s address is 6932 Sebastopol Avenue, Sebastopol, between The Toyworks and the ceramics and fused glass shop… half a block from Screamin Mimi’s.Here is the Facebook page. Come check the shop out this weekend! There is no sign yet, but you’ll know it from the whimsical decorations in the pop-out window.