Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Co-op Bookstore

Twenty-five years ago, I stopped into Mrs. Gooch's on Palms and Centinela with my mother to pick up some flowers. Browsing through the book section, I picked up a slim little orange volume from a spinner rack. It was called The Miracle of Fasting by Paul Bragg. (Yes, the Bragg of Bragg's Liquid Aminos.) The title was intriguing, so I bought the book. Simply put, The Miracle of Fasting is the reason I'm working at the co-op. For 20 years I had been eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) of burgers, fries, pizza, Hot Pockets and Cheerios. Within a week of reading Bragg I became a vegetarian and completely overhauled my diet. A few months later (to get closer to the bean sprouts) I applied at Co-opportunity. Two weeks later I had the gig and never left. Had it not been for that tiny little tome of healthy wisdom, I might never have fasted, cooked quinoa or become GM of Co-opportunity.

This is just a fancy introduction to the subject of this blog: Our book section. I believe we have one of the best book sections of any natural foods store in Los Angeles. Robin Enwright, our Product Quality and Education Director, has been tending to our bookstore for over 20 years. And she's grown quite a garden of words. She carefully chooses each selection from several independent book distributors she's used for years.

Across from the soaps in our bodycare section (and on the display table by the bread), you can find books on everything from aromatherapy to vegan cuisine and everything in between. Books on the environment & green living. Gluten-free diets. Women's and children's health. Natural beauty. Organic gardening. Composting. Animal rights. Homeopathy. Bach flowers. Cookbooks of various persuasions. A whole section on raw foods. And some giant reference books on natural remedies and healing.

One of these days I'm going to read the book on how to grow my breakfast on my windowsill.

Years ago we used to have a bunch more independent bookstores, used and new. Sadly, they're mostly all gone. We're committed to keeping our little bookstore alive and thriving. Those little volumes contribute to the health and well being of our community and our environment.

That is, as long as someone reads them.
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