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The owners of Allende Books, Kat and Bruce Bennett, have decided that, after more than ten successful years in business, it’s time to turn the page and start on the next chapter of their lives: retirement. Allende Books is for sale, but unless the business is sold in the next few months the bookstore will be closing its doors for the final time at the end of the day on Saturday, March 30th, 2019.

“We’ve loved having the store,” says Kat. “We get to spend every day in paradise, in this beautiful old building [El Ángel Azul, on the corner of Gmo. Prieto and Independencia], greeting regulars and meeting new people – and surrounded by literature. How could we not love it? But it’s time for us to move on to something else,” she continues. “We’d like to spend more time enjoying the area, spending time with each other and our friends, and visiting with family.”

“Our lofty financial goal when we bought Allende Books ten years ago was to pay the bills and maybe go out to dinner every once in a while. And we’ve accomplished that,” Kat tells TBC. “A bookstore is never a get-rich-quick scheme, and an independent bookstore – especially one as small as we are – would never make it in the United States or Canada. But we have a niche market here; we’re the only English-language bookstore in La Paz. Because of that, we’ve been able to run a successful business. And – my opinion may be biased – but I think Allende Books has been a wonderful addition to La Paz. We’re really hoping that we’ll be able to pass the baton, that someone will want to buy the store and La Paz will continue to have an English-language bookstore.”

Kat and Bruce tell TBC that Allende Books will continue to be open regular business hours in January, February, and March, but that they will not be ordering any more inventory; what Allende Books currently has in stock is what is available. As such, we asked the Bennetts what some of their best sellers are so that people can stop in for their copy before it is too late. Following is a list of five best-selling titles.

1. La Paz, Tierra de Encuentro, by Claude Vogel Thetion

Claude Vogel is a well-known local photographer. He has published a number of beautiful photography books. His La Paz book is over 100 pages of gorgeous photos of the area, including a photo taken at El Ángel Azul, where Allende Books is located.

2. Baja Legends, by Greg Nieman

The subtitle for Baja Legends is The Historic Characters, Events, and Locations That Put Baja California on the Map. That pretty much sums it up. This book is a fascinating look at some of the history and legends of the area. The information is set up as short vignettes, so it’s easy to pick it up when you only have a few minutes, read about something, then put it down until you have few more minutes free.

3. Sea of Cortez Marine Animals, by Daniel W. Gotshall

Sea of Cortez Marine Animals is a field guide to the common fish and invertebrates of the area. It’s not an all-inclusive identification guide (that would be a huge tome!), but it has the fish and invertebrates you will see most often and want to identify. Indispensable for the area.

4. Spanish for Cruisers, by Kathy Parsons

Even in English the vocabulary associated with boating is very specialized. How many non-sailors know what it means to say “the sails are luffing” or know what a “stanchion” is? Most people don’t have a clew! (Get it?) Finding the right word in English is hard enough, but finding the Spanish translation? Nearly impossible – unless you have a copy of Spanish for Cruisers.

5. Mexican Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary, by Lonely Planet

Not everyone has the time or inclination to learn Spanish; nevertheless, it’s nice to be able to communicate in Spanish for the necessities. The Lonely Planet Mexican Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary is perfect for that. It’s small size makes it just right for carrying in a pocket or purse. Take it with you everywhere, and next time you are in a restaurant and want to ask if they serve locally-produced food or want to ask a taxi driver to stop at the corner, your phrasebook will tell you know how to say it.

Whether the bookstore sells or not, the Bennetts want to thank everyone for making Allende Books the success it has been. “Our customers have made running Allende Books a joy. Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years! Thank you, La Paz!”

If you are interested in buying Allende Books and continuing this lovely La Paz institution, you can stop by the store during business hours – Monday through Saturday, from 10 am to 6 pm – and talk to Bruce or Kat. If you are interested in buying the bookstore but are not currently in La Paz, you can contact Bruce and Kat at allendebooks@gmail.com or send a Facebook message to www.facebook.com/AllendeBooks