EUREKA BOOKS (est. 1987)

426 2nd St. Eureka, CA 95501. Map It
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Every mountain top is within reach

October 17th, 2013  |  by  |  published in Serendipity

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“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.”

― Barry Finlay, Kilimanjaro and Beyond

We try to keep this in mind as we pull books from the tops of the 18-foot-tall shelves that line Serendipity Books. There are so many books that when we move the books down and empty all the boxes and bags, all the normal-height shelves are filled again.

For more about Serendipity: http://eurekabooksellers.com/serendipity/

 

 


Fool’s Gold

October 5th, 2013  |  by  |  published in Serendipity

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My wife calls what’s the process of sifting through the thousands of books at Serendipity mining for gold.

This was the first shiny object we found: an old painting with the hint of a signature in the lower left corner. We took the picture out of its frame and the name was Howard Pyle, one of the great illustrators of the 19th and early 20th century. If real, it would be a five-figure painting.

Hopes rose.

The problem, however, is that it didn’t look like a Howard Pyle. The second factor working against it was that Peter Howard would not have left a Howard Pyle lying around.

Then we cleaned the dust off the painting and discovered that the signature read “from Howard Pyle” and that the artist had signed illegibly on the the right side.

As any gold miner knows, you have move a lot of rock to find a few nuggets. So it’s back to the mines.

See all posts here.


Holy Sh*!#$t

October 5th, 2013  |  by  |  published in Serendipity

Serendipity Books' Mystery Section

Jack Irvine, Eureka Books’ co-owner, was the first in the building. He picked up the keys one Saturday with his wife. Confronted by scenes like this, she reportedly wandered around Serendipity Books muttering “Holy shit!” over and over.


It Seems the Family Has Gone For Your Bid

October 5th, 2013  |  by  |  published in Serendipity

The day after my 47th birthday, I received the following email from Bonhams, the auction house hired to disperse the inventory of Serendipity Books, Inc.:

It seems that the family has gone for your bid. I think I can work out all the details next week and give you the ability to start as soon as possible.

Thirty-two words sealed what is by-far the biggest deal in the quarter-century of Eureka Books. The contract requires us to remove all the inventory and includes all the fixtures we want.

Next week in the email turned into next month while the lawyers worked on the contract. We got the keys on September 21, in the midst of a month of vacations at the store, which kept us in Eureka. Since then, we have only spent a few days at Serendipity. On October 7, we start work in earnest.

For all the posts about Serendipity, visit http://eurekabooksellers.com/serendipity/


Serendipity Books

October 5th, 2013  |  by  |  published in Blogs, Bookselling, Feature, Serendipity

serendipity-iron

SALE IS OVER. ALL MERCHANDISE IS SOLD

It’s official now, we are the final custodians of Serendipity Books, in Berkeley, one of the great bookstores on the West Coast. After a series of auctions, shelf sales, and wholesale sell-offs, we recently negotiated the purchase of the remaining contents (probably more books than can be currently found inside the four walls of Eureka Books).

NOVEMBER 15 UPDATE: SALE IS OVER. ALL MERCHANDISE IS SOLD

Follow the sale on Facebook for the latest information

For all the posts about Serendipity, visit http://eurekabooksellers.com/serendipity/

Serendipity’s iconoclastic owner, Peter B. Howard, predicted this end to the store more than a decade ago.

Talking to Nicholas Basbanes, who was working on the book Patience and Fortitude, Peter said that “ultimately he would like to see the business pass on to a trusted colleague, but if that possibility does not develop, then he is confident that ‘the books will be liquidated in ways customary to the book business…’ Bookstores, he said, ‘are extremely fragile things, and are almost always one-generational, at least in the United States. They reflect the personality of the founder. I have made my business so big and so complex that no one in their right mind but me would ever want to take the responsibility for it.’”

In the end, no one bookseller did take over the business, but many of Peter’s close colleagues in the rare book trade took on pieces of his legacy, and we’re glad we were able to be part of that.


We Have a Winner in the Paint Our Building Voting

September 8th, 2013  |  by  |  published in Bookstore, Feature 3

 

carson park-web

After receiving 961 public votes and accounting for the opinions of the staff and owners of Eureka Books, this paint design created by Carson Park Design is the overall winner in our Paint Our Building poll. Let’s hope the weather holds so we can get the place painted this year!

Thanks to all our customers who voted and offered advice and to the design professionals who helped us (designers Sara Traphagen and Kelly Livingston and the artists Joan Gold and Linda Mitchell). We also extend our appreciation to the Glidden Professional Paint Center at 6th and J Street for letting us take home literally hundreds of paint chip samples. We returned almost all of them, we promise.

For those of you who want full disclosure on the voting, here’s how it worked. The five owners and employees of Eureka Books were given votes. The public was granted an equal say. Each of the six voters could elect a first, second and third choice, and those choices earned 3, 2, or 1 points, respectively. The design with the most points won.

all six square

The public voting was as follows:

Design J: 255 votes and 3 points
Design H: 215 votes and 2 points
Design D: 138 votes and 1 point


Help Paint Eureka Books

August 28th, 2013  |  by  |  published in Bookstore

old-and-new

It’s been about 20 years since Eureka Books was last painted and we’ve decided it’s time for a new look, and we’d like your help. We’ve narrowed it down to nine different designs. Tell us which one you like best. Or stop by the store – we have them all on the wall.


Now Hiring: Assistant Manager, Used Books

August 13th, 2013  |  by  |  published in Bookselling, Feature

help-wanted-sign

Open Position: Assistant Manager, Used Books

The primary responsibility of this position will be supervising the used book division of the store, including buying used books, cataloging, Internet sales, packing and shipping. This is in addition to the sorts of work we all do: customer service, cashier duties, and general bookstore maintenance, such as shelving and organizing.

Applicants should have bookstore or closely related experience. We are especially hoping to find someone familiar with the buying and selling of used books, but people with experience regularly selling anything on eBay, Etsy, the flea market, or similar venues are encouraged to apply.

To apply (and this is the first test for the position), drop off or mail in a resume and cover letter. The cover letter should provide a summary of your experience and qualifications for the job. We’re in the book business and that means paper. Electronically submitted resumes will get about as much attention as e-books, which is to say the delete key is just one index finger away.

Please don’t spend much time telling us how much you love books or how you’ve always longed to work in a bookstore. We’ll assume that’s the case, otherwise you’d be applying to work at BevMo. If you are also applying to work at BevMo, good luck. Let us know if they carry Cocchi Americano because we can’t get it in Humboldt County. But we’re not looking for someone who is simply looking for yet another retail job.

This is not a cush job, but it is an interesting one (we think). We work hard, all day. You will not have any time to read on the job (a common misconception about bookstores), though we expect you to be the sort of person who reads a lot in your off hours. You will also not have time to be bored. You will be challenged constantly and faced with surprisingly complex problems that need to be solved on the fly. On the same day, you may interact with a homeless person, an avid reader looking for advice choosing a title for a book club, a teenager trying to decide what to read after The Hunger Games, the curator of a prestigious library, and the odd billionaire (and aren’t they all odd?).

As the person overseeing used books, you will negotiate the purchase of used books, which often means house calls. A valid CA driver’s license and insurance are required. You will also need the ability to select the books the store needs and calculate a fair price for them without access to any tool other than your brain (training will be provided). You should feel comfortable negotiating deals and working by yourself, at someone else’s house. (We never carry cash and take prudent precautions, but that kind of work is not for everyone.)

You will be expected to work at least one weekend day as well as some evenings during tourist season and between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The position starts at $12 per hour, full time plus bronze-level health benefits beginning in January 2014. (This benefit package is part of ObamaCare. If you oppose that, please understand that if you are hired, you may find yourself compromising your principles). Like most bookstores, we trend liberal but we are a store and by definition, capitalist, so we actually make some effort to cater to Republicans and Libertarians. We are also more likely to talk about the Giants than the Democrats.

The application period starts now and ends when we hire someone. Procrastination is not a qualification for this job.


Humboldt: Life on America’s Marijuana Frontier

June 12th, 2013  |  by  |  published in Books, Feature 2

Humboldt-book-coverThe newest book on Humboldt County goes on sale June 18th.  Until then we have it under lock and key.

From the publisher:

In the vein of Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief and Deborah Feldman’s Unorthodox, journalist Emily Brady journeys into a secretive subculture–one that marijuana built.

Humboldt: Life on America’s Marijuana Frontier

Say the words “Humboldt County” to a stranger and you might receive a knowing grin. The name is infamous, and yet the place, and its inhabitants, have been nearly impenetrable. Until now.

Humboldt is a narrative exploration of an insular community in Northern California, which for nearly 40 years has existed primarily on the cultivation and sale of marijuana. It’s a place where business is done with thick wads of cash and savings are buried in the backyard. In Humboldt County, marijuana supports everything from fire departments to schools, but it comes with a heavy price. As legalization looms, the community stands at a crossroads and its inhabitants are deeply divided on the issue–some want to claim their rightful heritage as master growers and have their livelihood legitimized, others want to continue reaping the inflated profits of the black market.

Emily Brady spent a year living with the highly secretive residents of Humboldt County, and her cast of eccentric, intimately drawn characters take us into a fascinating, alternate universe. It’s the story of a small town that became dependent on a forbidden plant, and of how everything is changing as marijuana goes mainstream.


Paint Eureka Main Street

June 2nd, 2013  |  by  |  published in Events

vote-eurekaBenjamin Moore, the paint company (available locally at Shafer’s), has just announced a contest in which 20 winning towns will have their Main Streets painted for free! And Eureka is one of the towns in the running.

You can vote for Eureka once a day, every day, between now and June 30 at PaintWhatMatters.com.

Right Click the image above to save it for your own use. Add it to Twitter and Facebook posts

Twitter: #paintwhatmatters ; @Benjamin_Moore

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/benjaminmoorepaints

Instagram (their preferred photo site): @BenjaminMoore

More information on the City of Eureka web site
http://www.ci.eureka.ca.gov/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=427&targetid=1

Benjamin Moore has not said what counts as “Main Street” in Eureka, so let’s all pull together and win this thing for the good of the community.

 



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