There’s a new bookstore on Bend’s westside: Camalli Book Company (the website is a blog, which is a good thing). The store’s owner, Tina Davis, sent me the details:
Actually opened for the sale of Harry Potter 7 on Friday night, but the ‘grand opening’ is next week with the ribbon cutting by the chamber on Tuesday, 7/31. We’re a 2400 sf general interest independent bookstore, located off of the Century and Simpson roundabout (in the Ray’s shopping center, where the tile and stone place used to be), with our largest sections being children’s books and fiction, though we’re working to build our regional selection and keep titles by local authors in stock. We have two indies downtown of course (Book Barn and Pegasus, which I love), and obviously a big-box bookseller on the east side, but this is the first on the "west" side.
More bookstores in town is always a good thing. Its address is 1288 SW Simpson Avenue, Suite C. The Chamber ribbon cutting is today at 4:30, and there will be snacks and wine available.
Tina also sent along their official press release, which you can read after the jump.
An independent, locally owned bookstore became the only store of its kind west of downtown Bend when it opened its doors this week in Ray’s shopping center.
Camalli Book Company’s owner is Tina Davis, of Bend, who has been self-employed in the publishing industry for the past eight years but has long explored the possibility of opening an independent bookstore here.
“The time seemed right for the area,” Davis said. “Naturally, I am book obsessed and love independent bookstores. But with Bend’s overall population growth and, in particularly, the growth of the west side, there is a need to expand shopping and services on this side of town, and a bookstore seems to be an ideal fit.”
The 2,400-square-foot store, located near the busy Simpson and Century intersection, was formerly home to Baptista Tile & Stone Gallery.
“Finding a spot was the biggest challenge initially,” said Davis, 38. “To succeed I needed to be someplace with great traffic flow and ample parking, and this place fits the bill perfectly. On top of that, this space required very little in build out. When Baptista moved to a new showroom, I was given the opportunity to choose a site with a beautiful and eclectic tile floor and gorgeous counters. People always comment on the floors — they’re really something.”
Davis’ hope is for the bookstore to evolve into a meeting of the minds and of ideas. “I love general independent bookstores in that they carry such a diverse range of material, so you get an equally diverse range of people coming in.” The store is large enough to offer seating space, whether it’s for a book reading or the gathering of a book group, the owner noted.
The new bookstore features a selection of freshly brewed coffees from Strictly Organic.
“About 90 percent of the people I’ve talked about my new endeavor had the same question: ‘Will you have coffee?’ Coffee and books just go together so well. There’s something about a warm cup of coffee and a cozy chair that is comforting and familiar,” Davis said. “At the outset, we’re brewing every morning and allow customers to self-serve. In the future, however, we’ll add lattes and other drinks to the menu.”
While Davis was offered plenty of suggestions on what to call her new store, she wound up keeping it in the family. Camalli is the merging of her two children’s first names.
“Cameron is 8 and a Harry Potter nut; Allison is 4 and loves to be read to as well,” the Washington State University graduate said. “Combining the first part of each name just struck me. While Camalli will be a general interest bookstore, we devote a good amount of space to children’s books and toys. So it seemed like a good fit.”
It’s a busy year around the Davis home as her husband, Rod, is preparing to begin his first year as an elementary school teacher with Bend-La Pine Schools.
The American Booksellers Association (ABA) reported that 97 ABA member bookstores opened for business in 2006. That was preceded by more than 90 new store openings in 2005. New owners report a number of reasons for launching their stores, yet they share at least two common traits: a love of reading and a desire to make a difference. According to Avin Domnitz, CEO of the ABA, any reports about the decline of independent bookstores in this country have been greatly exaggerated.
“The number of new stores — and the intelligence and professionalism of these new owners — clearly demonstrates that independent bookselling is very much alive and well in the 21st century,” Domnitz observed.
Camalli Book Company is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
For more information about Camalli Book Company, call 541-323-6134 or visit www.camallibookcompany.com.