The beautiful city of Santa Barbara… a town that that looks and feels a lot like Italy.
Located on a pristine stretch of California’s central coastline, Santa Barbara is situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, so it enjoys a nearly perfect year-round climate. With stunning a coastline, lush hills, fig trees, parks, waterfalls, and botanical gardens, Santa Barbara is indeed blessed with natural beauty.
Home to approximately 90,000 residents, the first permanent residents were Spanish missionaries who settled in the region in the late 1700’s. The Spanish colonial heritage is thus reflected in the Mediterranean style stucco buildings with their red tile roofs.
Areas just outside of Santa Barbara have some of the most abundant farm land in the country. Also neighboring are the perfect wine growing regions of Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley… home to more than 100 wineries. Pairing all this with culture and arts abound, near perfect weather, mountains, beaches, (and all the outdoor activities one could ever desire) makes Santa Barbara’s nickname of “paradise” befitting.
One (lucky) popular long- established retailer in Santa Barbara, is Chaucer’s Books. Depicted by one online reviewer as “The bookstore in Santa Barbara… and perhaps in all of California,” this independent book seller opened its doors in 1974, and has only gotten better as the years go by.
Self-described as “ an independent, full service, overstocked bookstore located on upper State Street in Santa Barbara, CA and has been a mainstay for booklovers near and far.”
The delightful gift and stationery buyer, Erin Humphreys gave us some history:
“Santa Barbara is a great place to run an independent bookstore, as we have such wonderful community support.
The store was founded 45 years ago by Mahri Kerley, after her husband said she owned so many books she should open her own store. She took his excellent advice, and the store has been loved by the community ever since. Many people believe the store is named after Geoffrey Chaucer, author of the Canterbury Tales, when in fact it is actually named after Mahri’s cat, Geoffrey, who was named in honor of the famous poet.”
Whether you’re looking for a mystery novel, an art book, a work of nonfiction or something else, you will find what you’re looking for on their brimming shelves. Carrying north of 150,000 titles, they will happily do anything to “swiftly procure books for you that we don’t currently carry in stock. We’re committed to providing our community with an impressive depth and breadth in any and all subjects as well as excellent customer service (including recommendations from our well-read staff). “
Chaucer’s also sells cards, journals, audiobooks, calendars, local music, and games, as well as gifts and toys. A large area of the store is set aside especially for children’s literature. It is known far and wide as the best place to browse for hours.
On many evenings they have local or renowned authors who do readings, lectures and book signings.
“As for the Rossi products we carry, we have boxed notes, single cards, and journals, and I plan to expand our collection, as they have been very positively received by both staff and customers, all of whom have found the line to be gorgeous, terrific quality and excellent value.”
“Julie, my fabulous rep, turned me on to this incredible line, and I have to admit I’m kind of obsessed. I absolutely love Rossi Paper, and I am excited to share it with our customers, who have very discerning taste and really appreciate fine quality paper products.”
A review from a happy customer says it best:
“Chaucer’s is a wonderful little book store located at a beautiful, high end shopping plaza on Upper State St. Do not be deceived by the small storefront, this shop is so much bigger than it leads on to be and contains more than you can comprehend in a lifetime. From cards to magazines, journals, and Sudoku there is much more than just books for sale here. I came for a journal and stayed 3 hours”