User menu

Shopping cart

Notes from Casey

February 2024

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

One of my favorite parts of each week is the hour-long register shift that I work every Tuesday. Although customers comment that they are sometimes surprised to see me behind the counter, there is no place I'd rather be. I get to see what people are reading, talk to regulars, see what's happening in Downtown Santa Cruz, and catch up with booksellers. I also get to hear so many amazing Bookshop stories from customers. Just this week, one customer told me that he and his wife have a decade-long tradition of buying Valentine's cards at Bookshop. Each year they do separate trips to the store and not only pick out a card for the other, but try to guess which card they think they will receive. They have been right about their partner's picks each of the last five years! Another customer told me that they buy several of our Blind Date with a Book picks and take one on each vacation they take during the year. Once they are on the plane or hit the beach, they unwrap their blind date book and get to have a surprise reading, which makes their trips even more memorable.

January 2024

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

Happy New Year! A new year means new books to look forward to, and I already have a long list of titles I want to read in the first half of 2024. I've put together lists (below) of 16 exciting titles to share with you. Click on the book covers to read more about each title, and don't forget you can preorder the ones you're most excited about.

November 2023

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

This year, books transported me in time, place, and viewpoint. Although an impossible task, I narrowed down the list of all the books I read this year to the ones I loved the most. Here are my top 10 books of the year. I hope you enjoyed some of them or, if you are lucky enough not to have read them yet, I hope this helps build your holiday gift list.

October 2023

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

Short story collections that are interconnected are some of my favorite types of books. Each story can stand on its own while also linking together. The reading experience is like peeling an onion—with each story you get a new layer of information and understanding. Then, you let your imagination fill in the gaps. I feel like interconnected short stories activate my brain, and my empathy, more than many other types of books.

September 2023

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

Last night, a group gathered at Bookshop for a team building event for their workplace. They were each asked to pick out a book that meant something to them. At dinner that night, they would share the book and gift it to someone else on their team. It reminded me of what my book group does every December—we each bring a book that is meaningful to us in some way and do a white elephant exchange with time to reflect on each choice.

August 2023

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

Besides reading a book, one of my favorite weekend activities is to read the New York Times Book Review and specifically the interview with an author they feature each week in the By the Book column. One of the last questions is always "You're organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?" It reminds me of the best question I ever had on an exam.

July 2023

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

When my son turned 14 this summer, it finally dawned on me that I no longer have children in my house. Instead, I am firmly in the category of a "parent of teens." And although this transition is filled with the usual teenage angst (from both sides), I am finding one huge benefit that might outweigh some of the trials: my kids can finally read adult books!

June 2023

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

If there are two truths to this year, they are that we have had an abundance of rain and an abundance of books. Recently, all of us at Bookshop reviewed our reads of the first half of 2023 to figure out which books were our favorites and we've put together a fantastic list.

May 2023

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

At a recent event for author Jennifer Egan, she was asked what she thought about AI written material and its impact on books, publishing, and authorship. Her response was perfect. AI might entertain, she commented, but it is deep reading that will be a form of resistance to our ever-increasing technological world. That is one reason why Bookshop Santa Cruz is once again excited to serve as a community partner with The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz for their Deep Read Program. It challenges all readers in Santa Cruz County (and Banana Slug alums around the world) to read one book and engage in deep learning of that text, with multiple community events, to better understand our world.

April 2023

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

It finally feels like spring, and Independent Bookstore Day is right around the corner. In fact, on April 29th, Independent Bookstore Day is celebrating 10 years of supporting indies all across the United States. It is a day for book lovers to show their support for the role that indie bookstores play in creating a vibrant literary culture within our communities.