Just when you think you know everything about Novato, that’s when you find out you missed something important. The Book Place is a perfect example of such a gem in Novato!
For people who think there is no book store in Novato, the Book Place is a hidden treasure yet to be discovered by many even though it has been in Novato for the past 16 years, with the last 9 on Grant Avenue near Seventh Street.
With books in every category — fiction, nonfiction, history, science, autobiography, military, cookbooks, children's books, collector's items, as well as CDs, videos, and audiobooks, this used book store is a popular destination for book lovers and bargain hunters in the know throughout Marin County.
On a bright Monday morning right after the busy Thanksgiving weekend, the Book Place was quiet with a few customers browsing and six volunteers working. The sun streaming through the front picture windows warmed up a few cozy reading chairs. The quiet atmosphere and friendly volunteer staff is conducive to extensive browsing and reading before bringing a few books home. For patrons with young kids, there is a kids’ corner with children’s books, kid-sized tables, chairs, big chalkboard and toys to keep the young ones interested and occupied.
To help with holiday shopping, the Book Place has assembled many beautifully wrapped gift baskets, filled with books and items like stuffed animals for easy gifting. With well thought out, popular themes such as Dr. Seuss, the Velveteen Rabbit, Thomas the Tank Engine, Cooking, Gardening, and reasonably priced between $9-20, these gift items can be a life saver when shopping for loved ones. Not finding what you want? The Book Place continues to receive beautiful art, cooking and bestsellers in mint condition. Check back often to stretch your budget.
Staffed by more than 100 Friends of the Marin County Free Library volunteers , the Book Place receives between 2,500 and 3,000 books a week donated during the peak season, and takes in more than $10,000 monthly.
The Friends allocate between $55,000 and $70,000 annually to support Marin County Free Library materials and programs, such as the Children’s Summer Reading Program, the Toddler Story Times, the children’s programs/events, and teen reading programs. In addition, the Board reviews a Wish List compiled by library administration every year for additional funding opportunities, such as travel DVDs, Spanish-language materials, and other popular materials.
The Friends of the Marin County Free Library (MCFL) have nearly 45 years of service to the community, contributing well over $1 million to Marin County Free Library System. The friends invite you to come and explore the Book Place. Support the Marin County Free Library by donating to the Book Place or by purchasing some of the bargain but high quality books or by becoming a volunteer at the Book Place.
Prices on books are set by type: hardcovers $3 (except hardcover mystery which are $1), trade-size paper (larger than “pocketbooks”) $2, small mass-market size 75 cents—newer books and rare/unusual are priced accordingly. A Clearance Room has books at 25 cents. The pricing is the lowest in the county.
Kids’ club participants accumulate stamps for each purchase on a club card with the 13th book free. Kid’s books range from 25 cents to $1 in most cases, with special or new books priced slightly higher.
Discounts and Sales:
- Teachers receive a 20 percent discount on their purchases for their classrooms.
- Every Sunday seniors receive 20 percent off their purchase, except those items already on sale.
- The first Sunday of every month is Bargain Sunday, and selected categories are marked down for the day. The categories are typically announced one week prior to Bargain Sunday.
- Storewide clearance sales are held 3-4 times per year to make room for the massive amount of book donations received.
Membership information is at all county library locations, and at the store. Members receive the newsletter and advance notice to any of the sales.
Donation Guideline: http://marinlibraryfriends.marin.org/DonationGuidelines.htm
Location: 1608 Grant Avenue, Novato
Store hours: Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Sat 10-4; Friday 10-7, Sunday, noon-4. There is parking in back
Interview: interview with Barbara Madrid by Victoria Gonzalez, Library Community Builder