Laguna Beach Books named on nationwide list of indy bookstores

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Laguna Beach Books is at the Old Pottery Place, 1200 S. Coast Hwy. File Photo

Laguna Beach Books was among 30 independent bookstores from across the nation spotlighted Monday in a round-up published by USA Today Network’s 10Best.com.

The list’s author noted independent bookstores’ cultural influence for connecting authors with audiences and helping readers discover new books. The Laguna Beach merchant is named alongside The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City and City Lights in San Francisco.

Jane Hanauer, owner of Laguna Beach Books, said it was a thrill to have her store included in the national list.

“Getting this kind of recognition is what encourages us to stay in the battle against the online and discounting lions,” Hanauer said in a press release.

Year after year customers from all over the world come into Laguna Beach Books and tell employees their first stop and their last stop in Laguna Beach is the bookstore.

“Our staff and I do what we do because we not only love reading but love discussing what we like with our customers and learning what they’re reading. It goes full circle,” Hanauer said. “Our customers feel like they’re part of our family.  Often, discussions are no different from what they might be at a dining room table.”

In 2007, Hanauer opened Laguna Beach Books never having owned a bookstore nor for that matter owned or run a business. Her love of reading came from a family of avid readers. Her father, John Boyle, had been chief of foreign correspondents. Hanauer grew up surrounded by books her mother and father devoured.

Her life-long desire to own a bookstore became a reality after her husband Joe Hanauer purchased and completed a historical renovation of the Old Pottery Place at 1200 S. Coast Hwy. The bookstore’s lease was the first lease he signed at the iconic property.

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