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                 Cranston building    our former bookstores    rice mill

      Mansion Book Merchants — 132 E Street, Davis
- from March of 1987 to June 1992
                           The Next Chapter — 225 G Street, Davis -
from June 1992 to February 1998

                           The Next Chapter — 1059 Court Street, Woodland - from February, 1998 to October, 2003
                           The Next Chapter — 622 Main Street, Woodland 
- from November, 2003 to June, 2008
                           Raven's Tale
— 352 Main Street, Placerville - from June, 2008 to August, 2009

click one of these lists for the following information about our bookstores

some of our bookstore programs                                             book some of the services that our bookstores offered
some of the writers that we held events for                             book a few of our former bookmarks
                                                      book some of what our customers had to say

Cranston building  some of our bookstore programs

book some past events & writers

book Woodland Reads - we started this program to get Woodland readers on the same page - by holding events around a different book every year

book Poem-A-Day - every day during National Poetry Month (April) we handed out a printed copy of a favorite poem and emailed the same poem to a ever-growing Poem-A-Day mailing list

book we continue to mark the passing of some of the major figures of the book world - as we did with displays in our stores

book Banned Books Week - this was one of my favorite events - one that got more people reading books that some people wanted banned

book Zichilton Message Company - give a man a button maker and he has some fun with humor and politics

book NC FOODS - a few of our former taste and pun treats

book other programs:

 — Our Weird Christmas Tree Contest ran from 2001 to 2006, and had 74 creators ("growers") of bizarre and weird Christmas tree "artwork" and brought the strange out of so many people. The rules were pretty simple: it had to be 3-dimensional, less than 3 feet tall, made of anything other than food, needed no power, and had to be somewhat Christmas tree-like. At first, we had a flat wall art group, but discontinued that after the first year, because the 3D trees were were the excitement seemed to be. We always had a "seemingly adult" category, but we changed around the lower age categories several times, before settling on the age 0 to 16 category.
   It was great fun hanging the dangling entries from the store's high ceilings, and also to watch people saying "Weird" over and over again as they looked over the entries. As for what people used, just some the materials they used were: army men, banana, beads, bell, pile of books, bronze cat, broom, chickens & flyswatters, clock, garland, glitter, green Barbies, helicopters, hose, ice cream cones, icicles, Kleenex box, lab glassware, last year's mulched tree, money & credit cards, newspaper & bugs, packing peanuts & spit, paperclips, pens, pipe cleaners, plastic bowl & spoons, plastic coke bottle, popcorn, red marbles, rhino in box, ribbon, straw, train, twirling star, wind-ripped umbrella, and wire ... and lots of their imagination.
     2001 3D tree winners:
                      seemingly adult - Meta Bunse - green wire hanging tree
                      ages 8-18 - Jennifer Duque - green sock tree
     2002 3D tree winners:
                       seemingly adult - Willa Pettygrove - "Cool Cruel Yule" - cactus with Martha Stewart influences
                       ages 8-18 - Lauren McElroy - "Stanley" - green glove tree
     2003 3D tree winners:
                       seemingly adult - Lois Johnson - "The Golden Years" - 18" tall tree of empty pill bottles 
                       ages 0-8 - Lauren McElroy - "A Feathery Christmas" - feathers, eggs, and stuffed birds
     2004 3D tree winners:
                       seemingly adult - tie - John Wise - "Osma's Tree Farm" - clay Osma head missle  
seemingly adult - tie - Sherri Jackson - "There is Something in a Face" - plastic, sculpey on styrofoam 
                       ages 0-16 - Sadie Bills - "Stacked" - wood and paper
     2005 3D tree winners:
                        seemingly adult - Helen Voss - "Cartridge in a Bare Tree" -  a pear, no partridge, but a cartridge
                        ages 0-16 - Troop 76 Girl Scouts - "Crazy Christmas" - styrofoam, hot glue, and left over craft projects
     2006 3D tree winners: 
                        seemingly adult - David Hayes - "Silent Night" - mousetraps, plastic cat, cloth mouse, computer mouse

  —  in-store reading tutoring for children

  -—  our many different bookstore-sponsored book clubs

 -—  the Books from the Heart program to get more books into the local schools

  -—  the Day of the Dead shrine and community meal

 -—  and so many other programs, as well as always making our bookstore and coffeehouse available for countless community meetings.

lore  the differences between ravens and crows                    fist the world of independent bookselling

Cranston building  some of the services that our bookstores offered

book a selection of the finest new books available - we were a general bookstore, which means we covered all the bases of the book world, but we were especially known for our modern fiction, mystery, and a good children's selection    

book a staff made up of people who love books - nobody makes much money in an independent bookstore - it's a love of books, a love of being around books, and the chance of getting the right book together with the right reader that causes such great people to be found working in independent bookstores    

book easy special ordering
- we made special ordering books as easy & painless as possible
- people could order in-person, by phone, fax, mail, or email
- most titles came within a few days / publisher orders could sometimes take a few weeks
- nothing had to be prepaid
- people could pay by charge card on the phone and we would ship your book right to them    

book teacher discounts - we offered a 15% discount on purchases over $25 (20% discount over $500) for books to be used in the classroom    

book we accepted purchase orders - from schools, businesses, & other groups, non-profit or not    

book discounts for businesses & book clubs that buy in quantity
- we offered a 15% discount when customers purchased five or more copies of a title at one time         
      (this depends on what WE have to pay, but MOST of the time we can do something for a group that's buying all the books at one time)    

book gift certificates - they were available in any amount, with no expiration date, and they were the perfect gift of choice    

book we had a large e-mail LIST - this email list kept our customers informed about store events and news - all it took to get on the list was to fill out a simple card or sign up on the website - we promised that the information given to us would NEVER be shared with ANYONE else and it WASN'T    

book book signings, readings, book clubs, live music, a place for countless public & private meetings, and all kinds of other special events - since we opened as Mansion Book Merchants back in 1987, we held hundreds of events in and outside of our stores, and we were always open to all sorts of different kinds of events—the limits were just time, money & public interest    

book free gift wrapping - we had a wide selection of paper & ribbons — it was always better looking than a brown bag  

book we accepted MC, VISA, AMEX, DISCOVER and debit cards, as well as the preferred cash and checks - in the store or over the phone    

book mailing - we could wrap & mail books for anyone — for the cost of a mailer & shipping  

book plenty of parking - there was street parking in front of our stores and parking lots not too far away

Cranston building  some of the writers that we held events for

                         ♥ - marks someone who was at the store more than once
                                                (this list is very long and I hope to flesh it out with what books were featured - some day)

Francisco Alarcon
Walt Anderson
Francisco Aragon
Frank Araujo
Peter Bacho
Sara Backer
Will Baker
Derrick Bang
Stephen Barnett
Hanna Bauer
Dan Baum
Peter Beagle
Kirk H. Beetz
Sue Bender
Jane Blue
John Boe
Linda Book
Georgeanne Brennan
Max Byrd
Jon Carroll
Paul Castelfranco
Michael Chabon
Karen Chaio
Kevin Clark
John Coale
Nik C. Coyler
Bei Dao
Ed Darack
Jon Daunt
Joel Davis
Jeffrey De Vore
Maggie De Vore
Lisa Croll
Di Dio
David J. Dionisi
Jim Dodge
Quinton Duval
Bob Eakins
Arielle Eckstut
Sheila Edwards
Robert Eversz
Susan & Joe Finkleman
Molly Fisk
Jack Forbes
Karen Joy Fowler
Rebecca Fransway
Gregory Franzwa
Brett Duval Fromson
Blair Fuller
Albert Garcia
Angela Garcia
Sandra Gilbert
Sue Grafton
Jack Grapes
Marilyn Graman
Don Hagerty
Paul Haider  
Oakley Hall
Jim Harrison
Gwen Head
Padma Hejmadi
Brad Herzog
Tim Holt
Khaled Hosseini
Julie Houy
Julia Jackson
Tom Jenks
Francisco Jimenez
Richard Jones
Joan Kein
Susan Kelly-DeWitt
John Kemper
Madeleine Kenefick
Maya Khosla
Kathy Kieth
Karen Kijewski
Rachel King
Brian Knave
Cleo Fellers Kocol
John Lescroart
Taigen Dan Leighton
Julia Levine
JoAnn Levy
Xiao Jun Li
Carol Livington
Richard Livingston
Jane Baker Lotter
David Lynds
James McBride
Joshua McKinney
Sandra McPherson
Deborah Madison
Mike Madison
Moira Magneson
David Masiel
Jack Marshall
Simone Martel
Jerry Martian
David Mas Masumoto
Maria Melendez
Francesca Miller
Joan Drummond Miller
Barbara Millman
Stephanie Mills
Stephen Mitchell
Indigo Moor
Brian Moore
Mary Moore
Bill Morissey
Rebecca Morrison
Ted Nance
Yan Nascimbene
Yolanda Nava
Mariellen O'Brien
Walter Pavlich
Noel Peattie
Dale Pendell
Micael Perry
Peter Phillips
Shawn Pittard
Katrina Prado
Ron Radosh
Laura Reese
Bill Roe
Andrea Ross
Christopher Scheer
Ann F. Scheuring
David Schneider
Stan Seaberg
Eric Shaffer
Aaron Shepard
Gary Snyder
Emilio Soltero
Carol Spindel
Hannah Stein
Sherman Stein
Sandra Steingraber
David Sterry
Jeanine Stevens
Stephanie Strickland
Mary Kearny Stroube
Amy Tan
Murry Taylor
Gary Thorp
Jim Tonner
Marimar Torres
Jennifer Traig
Brigit Truex
Candy Taylor Tutt
Charlene Ungstad
Sally Vantress
Katherine Vaz
Geerat Vermeij
Peggy Vincent
Sara Vogan
Ray Waddington
Clarence Walker
Melissa Walker
Robert Ward
James Warren
Phil Weidman
Stanley Gordon West
Charles Wheeler
Kimberly White
David Wilkinson
Wendy Patrice Williams
Patty Wooten
Sue Owens Wright
Al Young
Deborah Zemke

Cranston building  a few of our former bookmarks
For the first few years, I was cutting all of our bookmarks out by hand and telling myself that there was some sort of Zen element to it all. Then I got myself a paper cutter and that made me realize that I had just been bored before. Before I owned a bookstore myself, I collected bookmarks from as many stores as possible, still do. Maybe just a small part of wanting my own bookstore, was so that I could design the bookmarks myself, for me and countless other people to collect. Great quotes or silly humor with good graphics always got me excited. After 22 years and making well over 100,000 bookmarks — I know that I've left my mark here, and there, and there, and there, and there.  - John    

Books may well be the only true magic.          
      — Alice Hoffman

Outside of a dog
a man's best friend is a book,
inside of a dog,
it's too dark to read.  
      — Groucho Marx

read everything.  
      — William Faulkner

People who write fiction,
if they had not taken it up,
might have become very successful liars.
      — Ernest Hemingway

The pen is the tongue of the mind.         
      — Miguel De Cervantes

A room without books is like a body without soul.          
      — Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-46BC)

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.         
      — Chinese Proverb

Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance.         
      — Lyndon Johnson  

I like a thin book because it will steady a table,
a leather volume because it will strop a razor,
and a heavy book because it can be thrown at a cat.
      — Mark Twain

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.          
      — Mark Twain

Books are like imprisoned souls till someone takes them down from a shelf and frees them.          
      — Samuel Butler

Books - the best antidote against the marsh-gas of boredom and vacuity.         
      — George Steiner

To read ... like a shark constantly swimming.          
      — an original Next Chapter bookmark

A book read
is a head fed.   
      — an original Next Chapter bookmark

Cranston building  some of what our customers had to say
 Years ago we ran some newspaper ads featuring the very kind words of some our more brilliant customers. They even helped to pay for the ads as a way to help get the word out about the store. Take a look at the WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS STORE? ads.

"If you have not found The Next Chapter bookstore, you are missing a wonderful experience.
The personal service and warm environment can't be beat."
          — Bob & Virginia Salley

"Why drive 10 miles out of your way when you can get GREAT coffee, books and service right here in Woodland?
I love the building, too!"
          — Marjorie Brown

"What a delight to browse, with a cup of coffee in hand, through the fabulous selection of books at The Next Chapter.
A booklover's paradise!"
          — former bookstore owner, B.J. Ford

"... the feel of the store, having folks who are knowledgeable and care about books and who welcome customers to the store. I don't find driving to Woodland to pick up books a great inconvenience, it is worth it to give my money to someone I know."          
          — Bill Wagman

"Few places draw me in like a good bookstore. In Woodland we are fortunate to have a really great one -- The Next Chapter."          
          — Cass Sylvia

"The Next Chapter is a marvelous place to shop for our families and friends!"          
          — The Original Saturday Breakfast Brunch

"The Next Chapter is my favorite haunt for coffee and books.
They research and order with caring personal attention and I appreciate it."
          — Harry A. Ackley


"What could be apter than the Next Chapter."
As we had to rename the bookstore and file it with the county very quickly, we had put it out to our customers for suggestions, and a few days before we had to file, we got this note this from two of our sweetest customers, Herbert and Hanna Bauer.


zichilton  Zichilton Message Company   
There used to be a strange display (yes, I had great fun making it) on the main counter of our bookstore that showed off the many literary and political buttons from the Zichilton Message Company. Now, when you think Zichilton, think of the bookstore owners' names, Vicky PanZICH and John HamILTON. We sold over 1,100 of these buttons in just a few years. All the messages weren't for all the people, all the time, but that was kind of the point. Some of these messages were from protest signs being carried by concerned people in countless demonstrations around the country, Others came from just about anywhere in the culture. Others we just made up. I also did customer suggestions, and made custom buttons for events and special occasions. Bottom line, it was great fun ... and only offended a few people, some of the time.

Here are some of them, when I track down, or remember more, I'll include them.

1/20/09 - Bush's Last Day
A Book read is a Head Fed
Afghanistan War, Iraq War, CLASS WAR
All we are saying is Give Peace a Chance
Are they undecided voters or just STUPID?
At least Nixon had the decency to Resign
Be the Change you want to see in the World
(Gandhi quote)
Beware of Mad Cowboy Disease
Books May be the Only True Magic
Buck Fush
Bush Cheney 1984
Bush is an Empty Warhead
Bush is STILL President, The terrorists have Won
Bush Lied!
Bush out of Iraq, Nader out of Florida
Bush Sr. Should Have Pulled Out
Do you want Main Street or Chain Street?
Does John Ashcroft know what you're reading?
Don't Blame Me, I Voted with the Majority
Don't Invade Iraq
Don't Make Me Release the FLYING MONKEYS
Drop Bush Not Bombs
Enjoy Every Sandwich
(Warren Zevon line) 
Evil rules in the Land of Fools
Feed Your Head
Four More Wars
Give Peace a Chance
Got ethics?
Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell
He not busy being born is busy dying
(Bob Dylan lyric)
Hemp is an Herb, Bush is a Dope
He's Insane
(picture of Bush)
Homeland Security?
Hoot for Peace
How Many Lives per Gallon? 
How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was?
I ain't no monkey, but I know what I Like
(Dylan song lyric)
I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that is not in order to enjoy ourselves 
I don't want a War president
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to…
I hated BUSH before it was cool
I miss Bill
(picture of Bill Clinton)
I miss Nixon. Compared to these Nazis we have in the White House now, Richard Nixon was a flaming Liberal
(Hunter S. Thompson)
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness
(Allen Ginsberg line)
If only the Native Americans had built a fence!
If you are what you eat, I'm FAST, CHEAP, and EASY
If you don't vote, people like Bush get elected
If you hate anyone, you're not a Christian
Impeach Bush, TORTURE Cheney
Impeach Cheney First
Impeach pResident Bush
Impeachment IS Patriotic
International Terrorist It's Not Getting Any Smarter
The Job of a Citizen is to Keep His Mouth Open
Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb
(Dylan song lyric)
Kerry in a landslide
Kerry or Canada
Kerry or Costa Rica
Kerry or New Zealand
Legalize freedom
Let's INVADE Saturn Next
Money doesn't talk, it $wears
No Blood for Oil
(picture of oil well)
No Millionaire Left Behind
No War
One Nation Under Surveillance
Orwell was an Optimist
Peace (with origami crane)
Peace is Patriotic
peace sign
Poverty is a Weapon of Mass Destruction
Regime Change Should Start at Home
Regime Change VOTE November 2
Repeat after me, John Kerry
Send the Twins
(Bush twins)
Smart Bombs, Dumb President
So Many Freaks, Too Few Circuses
Start Drafting SUV Drivers Now
Stop the Redneck Jihad 
Support Our Troops Bring Them Home
Support Our Troops Bring Them Home NOW
Take an Author to Bed
The Best Trips are in Your Head … READ
These are the times that try men's Souls
Think Outside the BIG BOX
This administration is bringing out the Worst in me
Vote or Die
War is Always Terrorism
War is Hell, on your Civil Liberties
Wealth is Theft 
(graffiti on Stevenson Bridge) 
Wearing a button is not enough
When Clinton Lied nobody Died!
When the going gets Weird, the weird turn Pro
(Hunter S. Thompson line)
Who would Jesus Bomb?
Who would Jesus Torture?
Why isn't everybody else as Mad as I am?
Willie Nelson for Surgeon General


Cranston building  NC FOODS - Try them they're BOSS!
These were great tasting treats that we had on the food shelves in our bookstore. They were brought to you exclusively by the Next Chapter. Most of these packaged goodies were in the chocolate family − a family with which we were very close − others were from the nut, coffee bean, and fruit families. With all NC FOODS we promised the most silly of labels, bad puns, and great flavor. There were many more flavors and puns offered.  

salty Pnuts - No elephants or Republicans were harmed in the processing of these nuts. What? It's just a label. When you looking for good salted peanuts in the shell, this is the one for you.

little BUZZ - Dark chocolate covered espresso beans in a very little bag ... can you handle 2? These bags are kind of a tribute to the writers on the labels: Hunter S. Thompson & William S. Burroughs ... they knew something about a buzz.  Here's to a little extra buzz for YOUR day.



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