About time, we say. Now the rest of the world knows what we've known for years.
Besides offering the best in new and used titles, our favorite bookstore has created an entire community around authors, booksellers, and readers that truly feeds the souls of those of us who care about good writing and good reading. Besides the many cozy nooks for getting to know a book before you buy it, Changing Hands offers book groups, writer's workshops, and readings from authors both local and national. Groovy gift items like candles, stationery, and book lights and the adjacent Wildflower Bread Company are two more in a long list of reasons why we're glad to keep "visit Changing Hands" on our "to do" list.
Our only complaint again: When're you opening your downtown Phoenix location? Huh? Huh?
Did your neighbor move to Fresno with your favorite bathroom trivia book? There's probably a copy here. Do you have an in-law with an esoteric hobby or pursuit? Grab a year's worth of gifts for that weirdo yes, the books are sorted by subject. Ooh, a Little Golden Book for the kids. (Yeah, right, the kids.) And while your selections are rung up at the counter, try to resist that rare collectible tree ornament. Just try.
Other choice collectibles include a Frank Sinatra photo signed by Ol' Blue Eyes himself during "a bleak time in his career" and a pristine dust jacket from the Photoplay film mag spotlighting Lillian Gish. There are plenty of affordable first printings and rarities available, so plop down in a comfy chair and thumb through some rare and unusual tomes.
Whew! That ought to keep us busy for a couple of months. Agreka also offers a varied line of non-polygamy fare, and it's a good bet you won't find these titles at your neighborhood Borders, either: Sleeping With Angels: A Veterinarian's Sacred Bond of Animal Companionship; Liberalitis: A Thinking Disorder Destroying America; The Blood Axe: A Story of Viking Kings; Help! There's a Tigress in the House: When a Husband Retires & Other Diversions; and Art Puzzles by Number: From Easy to Mind Bending.
The building is small and quaint and, we confess, we've never been inside. But we've driven through dozens of times, and thus have been able to focus on the quality of the coffee rather than the interior decorating. And that quality is superb. We never grow tired of our regular order a medium cappuccino with about three-quarters of a packet of Sugar in the Raw. Vietor seems to really care that he or his worker gets the right amount of sugar no more, no less into our cup. That's good service.