Raising Wilshire's Grandparents

Blogoir about caregiving for Asian American immigrant parents

Buying Children’s Books in Santa Monica

This is a part of the “SaMo Parenting Guide”, an ongoing series where I talk about where I buy stuff for Wilshire.

I know that we lost our Barnes & Noble earlier this year.

But don’t fret. There are still several bookstores in within Santa Monica city limits that you can visit to pick out books for the young children in your lives. I have several favorites.

Friends of the Santa Monica Library Bookstore
This amazing resource for books is located off the North Entry Courtyard in the Santa Monica Public Library’s downtown location. The Friends Bookstore is staffed entirely by volunteers and is stocked with donations from the community as well as the Library.

​Donations are tax deductible and may be dropped off at the Bookstore or at Customer Service on the main floor of the library. There are several shelves devoted to board books for babies and toddlers; picture books for preschoolers and early readers; and many, many middle reader and young adult paperbacks.

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601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401
Mon/Thurs-Sat 11:00am – 4:30pm
Sunday 1:30 – 4:30pm
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday​
Web: http://www.friendsofsmpl.org/bookstore.html
Big Blue Bus 1, 7, and Rapid 7 stop across the street.

BookMonster carries a broad selection of new and used adult and children’s books. It’s much smaller than Barnes and Noble, but it’s also not trying as hard. If you’re already strolling on the Third Street Promenade, it is really easy to stop by to look. The staff here was helpful and pointed out a book we wound up buying for just $2.37 plus tax. (I also picked out a fantastic book on mindfulness.)

212 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Store Hours: 10am – 9pm, 7 days a week

T.J. Maxx
Children’s classics and popular authors like Sandra Boynton are here for a few dollars off MSRP. In an ever shrinking landscape of bookstores, at least we still have TJ Maxx. 

Honorable Mention

Books and Cookies
Books and Cookies closed its physical location in December 2017. They continue to bring books, story time and age-appropriate arts and crafts activities through pop-up locations around Los Angeles. View their calendar here.

Will and I went a few times when he was a baby. We’d take the bus there. There was something discomfiting for me about paying for these activities that tie back to class and race. That is a topic for another day, though.


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