The Book Rack in La Quinta to close in September, owner hopes for buyer


This summer marks the final chapter for used bookstore The Book Rack in La Quinta.

Owner Holly Escobedo, 78, told The Desert Sun she will not renew the lease on her location in Plaza La Quinta. She will begin liquidation on Sept. 1 and lock the doors on Sept. 30. The Book Rack is the last remaining used bookstore in the Coachella Valley, aside from thrift stores such as Angel View and Revivals Stores.

Linda Gray, who has worked at The Book Rack for 15 years, was nearly in tears while describing her feelings about closing.

“I was scared to death when I first started working here because every customer acted like they hated me,” Gray said. “I’ve gotten over that now and it’s just fun because not only do I sell books, I give information on where to go out to eat or find stuff.”

The section of books by local authors at The Book Rack used book store in La Quinta, Calif., June 16, 2022.

Before Escobedo was the proprietor of The Book Rack, she lived in Arcadia and was a quality control manager for a print shop. Some of its clients included Disney and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., and the shop printed posters for the movies “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope,” “Toy Story,” “Edward Scissorhands” and more.

After Escobedo was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a doctor told her to find a job where she could come and go as needed. She moved to La Quinta to be closer to her parents and opened The Book Rack in 1997, which has been in three separate storefronts at Plaza La Quinta and in its current location since 2018.

The store features 50,000 new and used titles. Many of The Book Rack’s customers purchase the latest hardcover books from Costco, Target and Barnes and Noble, read them once and bring them in for trade. Many recent hardcover bestsellers are priced at $ 10 and on display at the front of the store.

The selection of children's books at The Book Rack used book store in La Quinta, Calif., June 16, 2022.

Escobedo said customers travel to The Book Rack from as far as Beaumont, Morongo Valley, Yucca Valley and Desert Hot Springs. The store’s demographic is mostly older full-time and part-time residents mixed with tourists and parents who homeschool.

“The Coachella Valley is definitely a tourist destination and a second home,” Escobedo said. “(Customers) come down here to dry their bones out and come here to get books. At the end of the season when they go home, they buy tons of books, put them in the car and take them to Canada because books are more expensive there. “

Mystery and thriller novels are the store’s biggest sellers, and despite the mutual success of bestselling authors such as James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell, The Book Rack organizes the section by gender.

“A lot of older men will not read books written by women authors and will specifically say ‘I do not want a woman author,'” Escobedo said.

Tracy Blackburn works at The Book Rack used book store in La Quinta, Calif., June 16, 2022.

During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, libraries were closed and retailers were offering curbside pickup only. Escobedo reopened The Book Rack for four hours each day and sold books to customers at the door. She later allowed customers to enter the store wearing masks and gloves.

Escobedo said she hopes a buyer will purchase the store so she can work there part-time with Gray and Tracy Blackburn.



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