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Notes from Casey

May 2024

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

When I took over the store from my father almost 20 years ago, one of the lessons he instilled in me was to appreciate the book business because it was composed of some of the best people you could choose to spend your days with. Boy was he right. Every day, I see the dedication and cooperation of the people trying to make a go in this business, a major factor in how independent bookstores have survived.  

April 2024

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

Recently, I saw a conversation online where people asked where they can find community in their daily lives if they don't go to church. They wanted someplace that had a common culture and thoughtful conversations on issues and topics that expanded their outlook. Of course, the first place I thought of was an independent bookstore. From Gen Z, who are discussing "third places" online, to Gen X who are searching for new outlets from their empty nests—bookstores can be a place for community and discovery. 

Casey Coonerty Protti
Owner, Bookshop Santa Cruz

March 2024

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

As I watch my 16-year-old daughter sit down to start writing her college essays, I realize how impactful it is to have a deadline. Few things inspire us to finally accomplish what we have always meant to do than some external force helping us shift our priorities. I think that is why we've heard from so many customers about how book challenges are a fun and inspiring way to read.

February 2024

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

One of my favorite parts of each week is the hour-long register shift that I work every Tuesday. Although customers comment that they are sometimes surprised to see me behind the counter, there is no place I'd rather be. I get to see what people are reading, talk to regulars, see what's happening in Downtown Santa Cruz, and catch up with booksellers. I also get to hear so many amazing Bookshop stories from customers. Just this week, one customer told me that he and his wife have a decade-long tradition of buying Valentine's cards at Bookshop.

January 2024

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

Happy New Year! A new year means new books to look forward to, and I already have a long list of titles I want to read in the first half of 2024. I've put together lists (below) of 16 exciting titles to share with you. Click on the book covers to read more about each title, and don't forget you can preorder the ones you're most excited about.

November 2023

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

This year, books transported me in time, place, and viewpoint. Although an impossible task, I narrowed down the list of all the books I read this year to the ones I loved the most. Here are my top 10 books of the year. I hope you enjoyed some of them or, if you are lucky enough not to have read them yet, I hope this helps build your holiday gift list.

October 2023

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

Short story collections that are interconnected are some of my favorite types of books. Each story can stand on its own while also linking together. The reading experience is like peeling an onion—with each story you get a new layer of information and understanding. Then, you let your imagination fill in the gaps. I feel like interconnected short stories activate my brain, and my empathy, more than many other types of books.

September 2023

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

Last night, a group gathered at Bookshop for a team building event for their workplace. They were each asked to pick out a book that meant something to them. At dinner that night, they would share the book and gift it to someone else on their team. It reminded me of what my book group does every December—we each bring a book that is meaningful to us in some way and do a white elephant exchange with time to reflect on each choice.

August 2023

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

Besides reading a book, one of my favorite weekend activities is to read the New York Times Book Review and specifically the interview with an author they feature each week in the By the Book column. One of the last questions is always "You're organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?" It reminds me of the best question I ever had on an exam.

July 2023

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

When my son turned 14 this summer, it finally dawned on me that I no longer have children in my house. Instead, I am firmly in the category of a "parent of teens." And although this transition is filled with the usual teenage angst (from both sides), I am finding one huge benefit that might outweigh some of the trials: my kids can finally read adult books!