As we walked into Kepler’s Books I told Kelsey, “I’ll buy you one paperback book.” I picked up its The Indie Reader at the front door to read over brunch at the store cafe before shopping. That was an expensive decision.
The Indie Reader is quite impressive. Twenty pages of book suggestions and event schedules, there was practically a book on every page that sounded fascinating. Kepler’s is certainly a player in the ebook age, many of the books in newspaper had a QR code, just scan the code and download the book. The newspaper also directed readers to Kepler’s other social networking endeavors, three blogs (one for teens, one for writers and another for everyone else) and a Facebook page. Anyone who still believes bookstores are remnants of a bygone era needs to stop by here. Efforts to create a community aren’t limited to the internet. The newspaper highlights the store’s Literary Circle Membership, a group of people willing to put their reading money to good use. A variety of membership levels offer members discounts, rewards and special access to author events. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to participate in the active literary scene at Kepler’s.
Does the store back up the image in The Indie Reader? Absolutely! It’s a spacious full service store with plenty of stock. I appreciated the bulk of reading recommendations for kids and teens up front, Kelsey was absorbed from the moment we walked in. The literary fiction section winds down the length of a large wall, ending in a shelf dedicated to Europa books. I always find book group shelves interesting, it’s a way to keep up with what many people are reading around the country. Here, it’s a delight. A whole row of shelves is given over to dozens and dozens of book groups, some with clever names like “Hotties” or “1961″ (the year the group started, I had to ask). The non-fiction and genre sections are just as extensive, this is a store where odds are good you’ll find what you need. There are used books also, not a huge section but definitely some good choices. Moreover, Kepler’s has an extensive selection of magazines, one area of the bookstores that is getting harder to find.
After meandering for quite awhile, Kelsey found me with two books she had to read. After reading about them in The Indie Reader I wanted them too and so as I paid for the two hardbacks, I told the cashier “I came in here saying only one paperback.” He looked at Kelsey and said “well done.”
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025