Once upon a time, when I was a much younger thing, Hollister had the best bookstore around. It was called Henry's. (Or was the bookstore called Henry or Henrys? That's how long ago it was.) It was on San Benito Street in an old storefront a couple shops to the south of Fisher's Restaurant. The bookshop was run by Mr. and Mrs. Henry, a sweet couple, who had no problem with a much younger me regularly roaming the aisles and checking out random titles, without buying a thing. Ah, the yearning.
Today, Hollister doesn't have a bookstore, independently owned or a well-known chain store. Still, there are places in town for book lovers to browse for a good book or two for fun reading.
I know for sure that Target sells a small selection of new titles for adult and children readers. You can also find a few new books at Nob Hill and Safeway. Maybe Save-Mor, KMart, Walgreen's, and Rite Aid does, too.
The Farmhouse Cafe (615 San Benito Street, Suite D) has a smattering of cookbooks and food-related books for sale. The other day I noticed The Farmhouse Cookbook by Susan Mayor and Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes on the shelves.
Next door at San Benito Bene (615 San Benito Street, Suite B) you can find a few books by local authors such as John Chadwell. The store also sells Hollister, a photo book about the history of our area by Joseph M. McMahon and Peter Sonne. While you're in the shop, be sure to check out the cute blank notebooks and journals for sale. A perfect gift for any writer of any age, novice or professional. (Hint, hint, you know who.)
As for used books, we have several sources in town for fiction and nonfiction books. Two places are nonprofit thrift shops. Forgiving Paws Thrift Shop (195 Meridian Street) is one such store. Another is Hazel's Thrift Shop (898 San Benito Street). It has a room called The Booknook in the back of the store. If you're into collectible publications, you can sometimes find some at Hazel's Treasures Boutique on Hawkins Street behind the thrift shop.
The Friends of the San Benito County Free Library resells used book donations. Often, you can find current titles among their offerings. This nonprofit group maintains sale shelves in the library next to the magazines. Hardbacks are $1 and paperbacks are 50 cents. You can't beat that price.
This group also holds regular Saturday morning book sales behind the library on West Street. Currently their sales are monthly. The next one is Saturday. On March 11, 2017, from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact The Friends of the San Benito County Free Library for further details about future book sales.