EUREKA BOOKS (est. 1987)
426 2nd St. Eureka, CA 95501. Map It
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Breaking the Bad News

Anyone who has been a bookseller longer than five minutes has had to find a way to break the bad news that someone’s family heirlooms have no value. Among Peter Howard’s files at Serendipity Books, I found this priceless letter from Peter to an insurance company. A family in Berkeley had a water leak and […]

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BRIDE OF FIELD NOTES: Barry Evans will sign his new book at Arts Alive

Local author and columnist, Barry Evans will celebrate the publication of his new book Bride of Field Notes during the November 2nd Arts Alive at Eureka Books.  The book is the third compendium of essays published in his Field Notes series.  Topics range from science, nature, linguistics, and philosophy. “I’m often told that what people […]

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Serendipity Books Sale Schedule

NOVEMBER 15 UPDATE: SALE IS OVER. ALL MERCHANDISE IS SOLD Eureka Books  has acquired the closing inventory of Serendipity Books, in Berkeley. Serendipity was one of the great antiquarian bookstore on the West Coast for 50 years (established in 1963) [read the New York Times’ obit for the store]. Over five weekends in November and […]

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Peter B. Howard on Bookselling

Peter Howard was one of the top antiquarian booksellers in the United States, with a heyday in the 1990s, when his firm, Serendipity Books in Berkeley, frequently grossed more than $2 million per year with just four or five employees. As we have been packing up the store, we have come across some of Peter’s […]

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Never Be a Bookseller

    Perhaps my favorite book so far, found on the Serendipity shelves. Alfred Knopf published it in an edition of 2000 copies (none for sale) in 1929. This charming pamphlet begins: “Never try to write, but above all never have anything to do with publishing or the book trade”; this is the only parental […]

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Every mountain top is within reach

“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 […]

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Fool’s Gold

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 […]

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Holy Sh*!#$t

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.

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It Seems the Family Has Gone For Your Bid

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 […]

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Serendipity Books

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 […]

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