Beach Town Books
99 Avenida Serra, San Clemente
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-6:30 pm Every Day
By Danny Ritz
Scott and Debbie Langston, owners of Beach Town Books, have just completed the first page of what they believe will be a long story with a central plot theme of developing a creative and inspiring space in San Clemente.
Celebrating their one-year anniversary this September, the Langstons hope to see their bookstore become a community pillar.
The Langstons said they are grateful for the opportunity to create a space where people can relax, linger, and connect to the vast resources of books and events at the store.
“A satisfying day for us,” Debbie said, “is seeing a customer wander through the biographies searching for a story to give them hope, a gentleman lounging in our leather chair in the history department, growing by learning from the events of the past, or maybe two women connecting at a Pokemon event in the evening while their kids trade cards and draw with laughter.”
Debbie’s lifelong dream of operating a bookstore traces back to the origins of her and Scott’s relationship.
“We would hang out at bookstores when we first met, and she would always say, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to own a bookstore one day?’” Scott said.
That opportunity came when Debbie was approached about assuming the new-and-used book store in 2016 from its previous owner of over a decade.
After the opportunity revealed itself, Debbie said she immediately “went back to the car, and I asked my two girls (Natalie and Olivia) ‘Should I take over the bookstore?’”
The children were supportive.
“I knew right then, that I just had to.”
To enable their dreams, they’ve put in long hours to bring new life to the downtown location. Scott has repainted the entire store, texturing and color-scheming the space to represent the beach-town atmosphere of San Clemente. He also worked with the city of San Clemente to enable two-hour parking on the surrounding side streets of Avenida Serra.
Excited for a long road ahead, Debbie and Scott voiced their excitement concerning their long-term goals for the bookstore.
“Creativity, literature and inspiration all stem from relationships. After one year, we are only beginning to form those relationships,” Debbie said concerning their positive progress.
Beach Town Books offers books with particular emphasis on stocking the local school’s “must-read” lists.
With special events such as live music, featured author discussions and youth events, Beach Town Books is sure to keep the pages turning for years to come. For example, they currently host a Pokémon night at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays, inspired by their two young daughters desire to form a community to share in their interests.
You can stay tuned to Beach Town Books events and activity on social media @beachtownbooks or their website at beachtownbooks.com. —Danny Ritz