Manhattan Beach, California, was "a cute village without a bookstore" before pages: a bookstore opened on March 12. "We just felt like the time was right," said Margot Farris, one of the store's three co-owners.
Farris joined Patty Gibson and Linda McLoughlin Figel to open pages. Long-time friends Gibson and Figel, who attended a booksellers school offered by Paz & Associates, had been planning a bookstore for several years before Farris joined the partnership. Their goal, Farris said, was to create a store that was "fairly small, very intimate, where everything you pick up is just a gem."
Pages is a general bookstore, with strong cooking, travel, fiction, and children's sections. The three co-owners have decided to make in-store events part of their focus, with story time and "Thursdays at 7" author events each week. "It gives us an opportunity to get different people into the store," Farris said. Pages recently hosted Kelly Corrigan; upcoming events include Tatjana Soli, Gabrielle Burton, and D.J. MacHale.
The store's location, just a block from the beach, also draws customers, especially those from out of town. Booksellers are happy to answer questions from tourists, and the store offers indoor and outdoor seating areas.
Pages has welcomed the community into the store by offering local book clubs a place to meet. "They just love having the bookstore to do this with," Farris said. "They have a really nice evening … it's worked out well." Book club members bring their own refreshments, and enjoy being in the store after it's closed to the public.
The co-owners have more ideas for their first year in business. They want to offer book-related trips for customers, along with themed gift baskets for wedding showers and other occasions. "We're just trying to be creative and have things that you won't find anywhere else," said Farris. --Sarah Rettger