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Laguna Beach

 Volume 13, Issue 5  |  January 15, 2021

Independent bookstore Sleepless in Laguna opens with a twist – romance novels & more

If one is looking for a romance novel, Sleepless in Laguna, an independent bookstore newly opened in Laguna on South Coast Hwy at Bluebird Canyon Dr, is the place to find it. 

Romance novels are part of a one billion dollar business that drives not only the historical and contemporary subjects of traditional romance books but also of many accepted romance subgenres such as inspirational, suspense, western, and even paranormal. 

Sleepless in Laguna primarily sells books of the romance genre but also brings these subgenres, as well as other mass market love stories, to the public in the form of a cozy boutique bookstore and gift shop. 

The owners, Lisa Ann Reed and Joe Anzenberger, believe their bookstore is a place for the reader community to experience the feeling of a heartfelt environment stocked with heartwarming stories. 

Reed holds a PhD in Holistic Life Counseling and Anzenberger is a published author with a BA in Literature and a Master of Science in Publishing. They are partners in Anzenberger Media, LLC, as well as partners in life.

Independent bookstore exterior

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Submitted photo

The place to shop for romance novels and subgenres

They had a specific plan for picking this particular spot for their business. 

“The criteria we set for ourselves in choosing a location included being directly on PCH, being on or near a trolley stop, being in a location that easily serves both local and tourist customers, and being in a place that has parking relatively available for author and other book events. The Bluebird Centre offered a location that has all of those advantages.

“We originally had plans to open March 21. However, retail operations across the state were ordered to close just before that, which meant we had a fully stocked store with no chance of opening. We had good online sales through, but it wasn’t until we could fully open that we saw ‘people’ business. We were very disappointed, however, to hear the trolley would be shut down for the year. We’re afraid that’s going to drastically cut down on the foot traffic we were counting on.”

However, they point out that a good love story is a welcome respite from today’s life stressors, and they have created a space where romance lovers can gather inside a store dedicated to their reading passion instead of being relegated to a small section in a traditional book store. 

Independent bookstore interior

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Submitted photo

Sleepless in Laguna provides a comfortable and safe environment

On the gift shop side, Reed has put together a variety of personal comfort and beauty items as well as apothecary potions to entice visitors with holistically-balanced choices to keep their immune system strong and anxiety at bay. 

They have plans in the works for in-person events when it’s appropriate.

“We have infrastructure in place to hold virtual events and to have in-person events when it’s safe. The plan to is to hold an author signing every Saturday, and to host discussions, book clubs, and classes during the week. We have a Local Author section that we want to expand in order to make readers aware of the Orange County community of writers.” 

As for hosting a book club, they say, “Not one that we originate, however, we are fully supportive of the local community and are receptive to helping any book club we can.

“We believe that a bookstore should be a community gathering place so we created a comfortable, safe environment that just so happens to specialize in love stories, and we sincerely hope it’s a welcome addition to the Laguna Beach vibe.” 

Sleepless in Laguna is located at 1590 S Coast Hwy, #4.

For more information, go to or call (949) 549-4190.


Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

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