The Coast's Best Bookstores
By Allen Cox
Published: 09/22/2013  Updated: 08/08/2019

In today's world of e-readers, successful bookstores are filling a void. On the Oregon Coast, four bookstores, with local-interest titles, cozy nooks and proprietors ready with suggestions, are havens for book lovers.

For me, three things are essential for fall and winter survival at the coast: shelter, fire and books. Not my e-reader - it's powered down and in a drawer - but real books, with paper, binding and that indescribable wood-pulp and ink smell. I like to hear the soft crinkle of paper as my fingers turn the page. I like its presence in my lap if I begin to snooze, its weight somehow a comfort. Sorry, e-reader.
Four bookstores on the Oregon Coast - Beach Books (in Seaside), Cannon Beach Book Company, Bob's Beach Books (in Lincoln City) and Gold Beach Books - provide that special magic book lovers relish when trawling for books.

Beach Books
Proprietor Karen Emmerling's passion for books was the life spring for Beach Books in Seaside in 2005. Since then, she has relocated to a much larger space on the busy corner of Broadway and Holladay Drive. She and her staff live to share this passion with other book enthusiasts by going out of their way to help their customers find just the right book. Well-stocked with titles by local and regional authors, as well as regional topics, Beach Books is a perfect place for visitors to the coast to browse and pick up a little North Coast knowledge. Readers also find a thoughtfully selected range of fiction and non-fiction titles. Watch their online calendar for author appearances. Find Beach Books at 616 Broadway, Seaside; (503) 738-3500;

Cannon Beach Book Company
Cannon Beach
Downtown Cannon Beach is a browser's paradise with its numerous galleries, boutiques, gift shops and every book lover's favorite: Cannon Beach Book Company. The store has been a Cannon Beach fixture for over 30 years and owner Valerie Ryan loves books so much, she has actually owned the store twice. If you're a literary fiction fan, you won't be able to leave this store without significant temptation. Whether contemporary or classic, the perfect beach read is waiting somewhere on the shelves, guaranteed. Mysteries galore, children's books and a well-stocked regional section round out the offerings. This is a comfortable and welcoming shop that invites hours of browsing, a perfect activity to occupy a lazy Cannon Beach day. They are located at 130 North Hemlock, Suite 2, Cannon Beach; (503) 436-1301;

Bob's Beach Books
Lincoln City
The Central Coast town of Lincoln City is home to Bob's Beach Books, an indie bookstore whose claim to fame is one of the largest annual literary festivals in the Northwest. Roughly 50 authors typically attend this signing and author-reading event, so check the bookstore's calendar for the summer 2014 dates. If you're looking for a title by an Oregon author, you have a good chance of finding it here. Their companion store, Robert's Bookshop, also in Lincoln City, specializes in rare and used books, making it an especially fascinating shop to lose yourself in, whether you're a rare book collector or a bargain hunter. Bob's Beach Books is located at 1747 NW Hwy 101, Lincoln City; (541) 994-4467; Robert's Bookshop is at 3412 SE Hwy 101, Lincoln City; (541) 994-4453;

Gold Beach Books
Gold Beach
This book lover's treasure trove holds the title of the largest bookstore on the Oregon Coast. In fact, it's one of the largest remaining independent bookstores in the state. The store features over 50,000 books and carries both new and used titles in all categories. An entire room is devoted to rare and first edition books. This is the South Coast's go-to bookstore. If you know the title you want, they'll likely have it; if you're undecided, you can enjoy browsing for hours. The store also offers local art and features an inviting on-site coffeehouse offering a cozy place to relax with that new book purchase. Find Gold Beach Books at 29707 Ellensburg Avenue, Gold Beach; (541) 247-2495;
The Coast's Best Bookstores