Big Congrats to Cannon Beach Book Company, which just celebrated its 30th anniversary. On Main Street, one block from the ocean, the store is like a big beach house stocked with everything you need to weather a storm or hang out on the beach all day. CBBCo. specializes in contemporary and classic literature, with a large mystery section, great children’s books and a strong selection of regional titles. They also have an eclectic selection of gift items that include Paper Blanks journals, Mudlark note cards, Envirosax and some great reading glasses.
Owner Valerie Ryan opened the store with a partner, John Buckley, in 1980. She then sold the store to Buckley in 1983 and moved to Seattle for twelve years. She bought the store back from Buckley in 1995 and has been there since. Ryan, who is also a freelance book reviewer, took some time out of her busy summer schedule to answer some questions for us.
If your store had a motto, what would it be? Ours is the perfect browser’s bookstore; there is something for everyone, if you have good taste . . .
Number of Employees? Four most of the time, five in the summer
Square Feet? 2,000
Store cat? OMG! NO! I hate cats.
Creaky floors quotient (or some facts about your space)? We have a very high ceiling in the back,so high that we can’t change light bulbs back there and have to call the landlord with the REALLY TALL ladder to come and do it for us. We have a step in the middle of the store, mandated by the City because the back of the store had to be above the flood plain. The City changed its mind AFTER the construction of the new part of the store and, were we to remodel now, we would be level. GRRR! It’s a big pain because people trip up and trip down, despite a BIG sign and streamers.
We also have a chick lit section that we call Beach Reads to avoid being TOO insulting, and it has all the regulars: Jane Green, Sophie Kinsella, Emily Giffin, Jennifer Weiner, Elin Hildebrand, Kate Jacobs, Nancy Thayer, etc. Not the section we love, but a good place for visitors to pick up something mindless and vacation-y for their sojourn here . . .
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Hi Valerie, Congratulations on 30 years. You are the first thing that comes to mind when people visit Cannon Beach! Your store is wonderful and I appreciate all you’ve done to make it that way for your community and the tourists!