Carmel Bookstores

Nestled in one of the many charming side streets of Carmel by the Sea, the Pilgrim’s Way bookstore shares space with “the Secret Garden.” Not the famous novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, but potted herbs, flowering plants and wind chimes – all for sale, along with shelves of best sellers, children’s books, and old favorites. After browsing the narrow stacks, I found the “secret” entrance to the adjacent garden shop.

Paul, the co-owner with his wife who also hosts a local radio show and podcast, proudly told me the bookstore has been around for 45 years, with plans for many more.

Sadly, a favorite of a fellow reader – the Thunderbird bookstore in Carmel – has closed, but the Mission San Carlos Borromeo still houses California’s first library, including books brought north from Mexico City. In 1778, the Carmel Mission library had about 30 books; today it has more than 600 volumes. Nice to know books can survive.