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Local Bookstore Thrives in Carmel B Y D A V I D A R M S T R O N G G ordon and Diane Simonds founded River House Books near their St. Helena home in the first decade of the new century. The business did well, but something was miss- ing: Carmel. "Diane spent her early years in Carmel,'' Gordon explains, "and we often returned for family visits.'' Over the years, Carmel remained an abiding attraction. So in 2009, the Simonds made a decision as simple as it was bold: They moved River House Books to the Crossroads Center. The independently owned venture quickly put down new roots, thanks, Diane says, to Carmel's deep literary culture and love of dis- tinctive local businesses. Gordon, a lawyer, helps run the business. Diane selects all the books after scouring reviews in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere and chatting up customers. "Readers are very interested in Monterey Peninsula history," she says. "Military titles do well, too, thanks to the military community here.'' River House Books hosts local authors for readings and signings and suppor ts the Carmel Public Librar y Foundation with dona- tions and hosted events. The interest flows in both directions. "The support we receive from the communi- ty is very gratifying," Gordon says. River House Books is located at 208 Crossroads Blvd., Carmel. For more information, call 831/626- 2665 or visit SHORTCUTS LIT Diane and Gordon Simonds (with pup Quincy) moved River House Books to Carmel's Crossroads Shopping Center after first having it located in St. Helena. 64 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 Photo: Kelli Uldall

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