Laguna Beach Books named among America’s best by USA Today

Laguna Beach Books, Laguna’s local bookstore, was named one of the best bookstores in America in USA Today’s study of leading stores around the country. 

In commenting on their study and describing the winners, USA Today said, “Connecting authors with audiences and helping readers discover new books, independent bookstores contribute greatly to the literacy and culture of the United States. From improving literacy or helping get books to children in need, many of these shops are cultural hubs of their communities. The value of indie bookshops cannot be duplicated online, although many of them wisely started offering online events and book deliveries during the pandemic.”

Laguna Beach tower

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The iconic Lifeguard Tower stands proud in Laguna Beach Books

In commenting on the national recognition, Jane Hanauer, owner of Laguna Beach Books, said, “This is such a thrill for us. Our staff and I do what we do because we not only love reading but love discussing what we like with our customers and learning what they’re reading. It goes full circle.  Our customers learn from us, and we learn from them, which in turn after we’ve reviewed, we recommend. Our customers feel like they’re part of our family. Often, discussions are no different from what they might be at a dining room table (for those who still dine in dining rooms).”

Hanauer commented further, “Getting this kind of recognition is what encourages us to stay in the battle against the online and discounting lions.  Recognitions like this and comments we get from locals of course but also from visitors. Year after year people from all over the world come into the store and tell us their first stop and their last stop in Laguna is the bookstore where they stock up on interesting titles to take home with them.

Laguna Beach customers

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Laguna Beach Books offers a wide selection of books for all audiences 

Jane Hanauer opened Laguna Beach Books in 2007 never having owned a bookstore nor for that matter having owned or run a business. Her love of reading came from a family of avid readers. Her father, John Boyle, had been chief of foreign correspondents for Time magazine and a gifted writer, so her earliest days were surrounded by books her mother and father devoured. 

Therefore, a lifelong desire to have a bookstore was realized when her husband Joe Hanauer did the historical renovation of the Old Pottery Place. Her lease was the first lease he signed at the iconic property and as he describes it, the most difficult negotiation he experienced.   

For more information on Laguna Beach Books, visit

Laguna Beach Books is located at the Old Pottery Place at 1200 South Coast Hwy.