“I have gone to [this bookshop] for years, always finding the one book I wanted – and then three more I hadn’t known I wanted.” ― Mary Ann Shaffer
Whenever I walk into a bookstore by myself, upon crossing the threshold, I immediately feel surrounded by the most welcoming company. As a child I sincerely appreciated receiving a book as a gift. In fact, upon opening the present, I was counting the minutes when I could find time to sit by myself and dive in. And so when I began to have some extra discretionary spending money, I would always reserve money for books.
And so when I opened the local newspaper one early November morning before work this year and found the recent opening of a new independently owned bookshop, my heart jumped with excitement. I couldn’t wait to stop in, peruse the selection, lose track of time and just luxuriate at a bookstore in my neighborhood.
Roundabout Books is located in the Northwest Crossing neighborhood in Bend, Oregon, situated near the roundabout of Mt. Washington Drive and NW Crossing Drive. With a cozy corner location which includes large nearly floor to ceiling windows facing west, the sunset viewing with a cup of coffee, tea, beer or wine in the evening while leafing through your next book is ideal. Open 9am to 9pm Monday through Saturday and noon to six on Sunday, Roundabout Books has already hosted many community and author talk events.
Since the morning I first learned of Roundabout Books‘ opening I have stopped in more than four times, and each time I walk away with a bit more of a bounce in my step. It’s the power of the proximity of books; I am telling you they have a palpable power. As the quote above states, often when I go inside I most definitely have a book in mind, but it is likely that the book I need or that wishes to speak to me is also found. As was the case with Bertrand Russell’s The Conquest of Happiness which became the focus of the most recent episode of my podcast The Simple Sophisticate.
~my first book purchase at Roundabout Books earlier this month~
The atmosphere inside Roundabout Books is welcoming, the seating is splendidly cozy with plush sitting chairs and you will find as well bistro chairs and tables for anyone who wants to type away on their laptop or work on their blog (free wifi is available). With careful attention to layout and aesthetics, the owner Cassie Clemans enables customers to find what they’re looking for with ease. I immediately smiled when I saw the cookbook section (be sure to check out why in the photo below – take a look at the message on the chalkboard at the top) and the rolling library ladder. A must in any classic bookshop, no?
Just as important as the aesthetics is the selection, and as someone who regularly shares the most recent releases on my weekly This & That post, with each of my visits to the bookshop I was finding new release after new release in both the fiction and non-fiction sections on each shelf I turned to, as well as perennial classics and bestsellers from years passed that readers continually review highly. Even Lauren Collins’ book When in French was placed front and center along with Grace Bonney’s recently released best-seller The Company of Women which were recently reviewed here on the blog this fall. And if they don’t happen to have what you’re looking for, ask them and you will see it on the shelves in two days as I did when I special ordered Frances Mayes 20th anniversary edition of Under the Tuscan Sun. (Also, view their website, as you can order books directly from their online shop.)
As today is Small Business Saturday with the holiday shopping season kicking into high gear, why not stop into your local boutique, bookshop or restaurant that is owned by your neighbor or fellow Bendite [insert your town here + “ian” or “its”]. I was reminded yesterday by a friend that .68 cents of every dollar spent locally stays in the community as opposed to .43 cents when shopping online or at a national chain. And there is good news when it comes to independent bookstores, sales rose 10 percent in 2015, and an additional 5 percent as of November in 2016. Shopping local, supporting local, buying what you want and need right in your backyard makes sure what you love whee you call home remains.
The people behind the business, the people who are willing to invest in their passion, and offer their expertise to the world embody great courage, which is all the more reason to step through their doors and thank them with our purchase for something we truly want and will enjoy.
The owner of Roundabout Books Cassie Clemans fits this definition to a “T”. A bibliophile at heart, she too enjoys the gifts and respite a bookstore can provide and with her vision of promoting the value of and pleasure in reading, supporting efforts that enrich life in the Bend community, creating a space that encourages the free exchange of ideas and opinions, and nurturing the next generation of book lovers, I knew I wanted to get to know her further and introduce TSLL readers to a woman who reminds us to dare to dream.
Relocating from Arizona in 2011 to Bend, I asked her to share some of her favorites when it comes to books, authors and living in Bend, Oregon. Take a look and get to know her below:
Favorite thing to do in Bend: Walk. I love walking the Deschutes River Trail, I love hiking through the woods around the lakes, I love walking around downtown and daily through my own neighborhood. I love walking when the seasons are changing, at night when the stars are out, and especially walking through the first snowfalls of winter. Bend is so beautiful. It’s such a pleasure to be outside.
Best life advice ever received: Be brave and trust yourself. Don’t be afraid to take chances. Sometimes you’ll fail, but sometimes you won’t.
Coffee or Tea: Coffee! Lot’s of it. 🙂 I do enjoy Earl Grey though.
Best way to enjoy a book: Simply. A quiet spot, a blanket, a drink, and the great pleasure of knowing you have nowhere else you have to be at that moment.
First book you ever read: Haha.. I don’t really remember. The first books I was obsessed with were Little House on the Prairie. I read all those books over and over and over again. The very tattered series I had as a kid still sits in the closet of my daughter’s bedroom.
A character from literature that that most resonated with you at any point in your life: Elizabeth Bennet because she’s hysterical, smart, progressive, and she believes in the possibility of great love.
If you could have a dinner party with four authors (living or deceased) who would you invite: Donna Tart, Ann Patchet, JK Rowling, and Margaret Atwood (and Toni Morrison, and Zadie Smith and Barbara Kingsolver and Kristin Hannah…) because of what these women have contributed to literature. How incredible would it be to talk to them about their own stories and how their lives led to the publication of some of the most beautiful books in print today.
What is one of the gifts that reading and your love for books has brought into your life that otherwise might not be? I think it is harder than we believe it is to put ourselves in the shoes of another and really try to understand their perspective. Reading gives us so many more experiences to learn from than just our own.
Favorite bookstore to visit when not in Bend (domestic or international): Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix.
A tremendous thank you to Cassie for her time during this busy time of year, and if you’re out shopping in Bend this holiday weekend, be sure to stop into Roundabout Books. I know I will be, and cannot wait to see what is new and available on the shelves. This weekend only, with each book purchase receive a free cup of coffee, then pull out a chair and stay awhile. I think you too will find it is a lovely sanctuary with inspiring company.
~Discover more Bend, Sweet Bend business profile posts and TSLL recommendations here.