September 15, 2012

A Favorite Bookshop (I love that word)

In Manteca, California, there is this little shop on main street called 'The Book Exchange'. It doesn't look all that spectacular on the the outside, but that's because all the spectacular-ness is inside! As advertised, it sells mostly used books but has new ones also. You have to visit this place if you're in the area. Because while I love to shop for books (especially used ones that are cheaper) there is another reason to visit this spot.

Elaine and Lois
These ladies!! They are a huge part of why I shop here. (There are a few other gals who work here, but they weren't available for portraits on the day I visited.) I was embarrassed to have to admit to them that I couldn't remember their names and they were sweet enough not to mind. Lois, on the right, said "I'm Lois, I was married to Superman!" Elaine, on the other hand, couldn't think of a way to remember her name until a fellow customer reminded her about Elaine from Seinfeld. So there you go. Lois and Elaine everybody! Awesome ladies!

(sorry the quality isn't that great)
Every time I go in, there's no telling what they'll come up with to talk about next. But I can guarantee that you'll laugh with them! For instance, on this visit we covered how we need use sugar (doughnuts) to get us going (it's only fattening if you think it is; if it's delicious, it's not fattening!-per Lois); and if you're flying in a little airplane it's very reassuring  to note that if you crash, everyone is packed so tightly in there, that you'd just bounce instead of dying (Lois again); and when I asked if I could take their picture, "Sure! Too bad you didn't wait until there were other customers in here, particularly of the gentlemen sort, who we could stand beside." (Lois once again) (Meanwhile Elaine is just shaking her head. I bet she's thinking "and I have to put up with this every day I work!") I promised them they could see the picture I took to verify that they were willing for other people to see it, and once they took a look, "We look good! There's just no perfecting perfection, is there?"  Are you getting the idea that they like to tease and have fun?  I'm always laughing when I go in!

This is what you see as you enter. Just about every customer that comes in, they remember their name and welcome them with big smiles! (This is why it was embarrassing to admit I didn't know theirs.) You can bring in your books and they keep track of your credit. Then you just wander and wander and wander. It's not a huge store, but as any good bibliophile knows, it takes a good long while to look everywhere and see everything. You don't want to miss one book that could possibly be your next favorite ever!

About a year and a half ago, I was wanting to find another bookstore to visit. I have a favorite close to home, but I was sure there had to be others in the area I just hadn't heard of yet. So I got online and googled it.  It only took one visit to realized what a fun atmosphere they have! You can buy books lots of places these days, but to have a shop to visit and know you're going to have a wonderful time while you're there is priceless in my book. (pun intended)

This section has classics.
Believe me, with all the books they have, if you're searching for it they just about have it. Perhaps not every single book in the world, but you can bet you'll find something you'll just have to have. Every now and again, I can't find anything that strikes me, but that's pretty rare.

One whole wall of religious books!
The other thing I think is great is that the sign out front just say 'books'. The front of their store says that too.  They've probably got the name on the building in front, but the thing that caught my eyes on my first visit, was the word 'books'. Why have anything else? If someone is searching for them, that will definitely lead them to the right place! :)

Parking is relatively easy. You can stop right in front of the building, or there's a little parking lot right beside the above sign. Easy peasy. If you pick the parking lot, you get the pleasure of parking by the side of the building and you see this:

Such a pretty sign to see as you get out of your car! So, go visit them the next time you need a book fix. You'll have a great time and may even come home with a lovely book stash to add to your shelves!  As for me, I'm positive that I'll be going back, and probably soon.  I just can't stay away from bookshops. Especially if Lois and Elaine are there to entertain me! :)

Toodle-loo kangaroos! Happy reading!


  1. Wow, I wish I lived nearby! Loving this store! I need more local bookstores in my area. Great post! :D New GFC follower!

  2. Thanks Courtney! Bookstores are so much fun. And thanks for the follow! :)

  3. That place looks like a treasure trove. Thanks for sharing, very happy that you have a place like that to find books. :)

  4. Treasure trove is just the right word for it, Carl! Thank you for stopping by. :)

  5. Martha-it's a wonderful place! :) Thank you for stopping by.


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