Last weekend, my family and I (Carolyn) took a short vacation to Santa Barbara. Anytime I’m visiting a city, I always love to find a local independent bookstore and stop by. Asking around, I was told that I absolutely had to head to Chaucer’s Bookstore. Stopping by Chaucer’s quickly became a highlight of our trip.
Chaucer’s Bookstore was founded in 1974 and has maintained a loyal following ever since. Santa Barbara’s local Border’s and Barnes and Noble bookstores closed their doors several years ago, leaving Chaucer’s as the only brick and mortar source of (new) books for most Santa Barbarans (there are some used bookstores).
Most independent bookstores are smaller and have a very limited inventory or risk feeling cramped. However, Chaucer’s was very large, and well stocked. As my sister put it, it had a homey and comfortable feel to it. When chatting with an employee, I was informed that the owner takes pride in having almost everything available. They had an extensive Children’s section, as well as a large YA section.
Every time I visit an independent bookstore, I make a conscious effort to buy at least one book there, even if I can get books for less through Barnes and Noble or Amazon. Sometimes this can be hard, as many independent bookstores often don’t have a large inventory and if they do have a book I am looking for, it tends to be in hardcover, not paperback. This was not the case with Chaucer’s. In about 5 minutes I found almost a dozen different books I had been looking for, and they were all in paperback. Chaucer’s also had a wide selection of new releases, including A Girl Called Fearless, one of my favorites.
If you live in the Santa Barbara area or are just visiting, I highly recommend you stop by Chaucer’s Bookstore.