SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Book stores still have loyal followings and in downtown Santa Barbara there's proof. The Book Den celebrates 35 years at the Anapamu St. site tomorrow.
The store came to Santa Barbara from Oakland at a different location on February 20, 1933. The history dates back 114 years to the Bay area site.
Owner Eric Kelley says he is not an "old dusty bookstore." He has used and new books on his shelves, plus a detailed online business. "We have a lot of technology to make that happen. People can actually search (to see if a book is stocked). We know exactly where it is."
With four employees he says they have, "106 years of book selling experience. Some people want advice. We can help people find out what they are looking for even if they don't know what it was."
He says there are many aspects to his book business that brings customers through the doors.
"People also know where to bring their books to sell them when they run out of space," said Kelley.
Many visitors from out of town often tell Kelley they wished they had a book store in their area like his.
Kelley says being a half a block off State St. has helped him afford to stay in the location, just a few steps away from the higher rent district.
He says some customers specifically shop at his store because it is locally owned. "We hear that all the time," said Kelley.
The 35th anniversary celebration will take place tomorrow evening. Customers will be treated to champagne and cupcakes as part of the party that is tied in with the First Thursday celebration coordinated by the Downtown Organization.