Name: James Miles
What brought you to El Cerrito to start the ? I have a warehouse six miles from here. The person I share the expenses with–we call it a co-op because we run it cooperatively—found a listing on craigslist for this space. Because the real estate deal is right, with the recession, we got it (the building in El Cerrito) because of a good deal on the building lease.
How has the reception been? It’s been good. It’s been growing ever since we started. We’ve been giving away and getting more and more books every weekend. Right now we’re giving away between 1,500 and 2,000 books every weekend, and getting in that many books too.
Do you see a lot of the same people coming in every week? Yeah, every week we have regulars, and then every week we have new people. And then we have periodical people. It’s like any kind of business—you just get a big whole mix.
Are you from somewhere else? I’m a second-generation book dealer. My dad had a bookstore when I was growing up, and I’m originally from Kentucky. My dad is still there.
What brought you to the Bay Area? My wife talked me into it. I was wanting to maybe go to L.A. About 25 years ago, my wife was pregnant, and we were living in Honolulu. We didn’t want to live there; the economy wasn’t that good. My wife talked me into moving to the Bay Area, because she knew a couple of families here.
How do you like it? I love the Bay Area.
What do you do for fun? I do disc golfing a little bit, read and watch TV.
What is that? Disc golfing is like golfing with a Frisbee: you have these little metal baskets.