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Clovis Book Barn: A Clovis Community Favorite for Over Two Decades

IN THE January 23 ISSUE

FROM THE 2021 Articles,
andBooks & Tales,
andKathy Eide Casas
SECTIONS

by Kathy Eide Casas

Is there any better feeling than settling in with a book…with words that can quickly transport you into a world of fiction, fantasy, historical knowledge, or even catapult you to sci-fi land? Whatever your reading mood is, the Clovis Book Barn has just what you need….and so much more!

Now, more than ever, reading has increased in popularity as people are experiencing shifting schedules, and, as a result, finding themselves with more time for new adventures, including reading!

Step inside the Clovis Book Barn, virtually or in real life, and you will be captivated by the thousands of titles that await you. An Old Town Clovis landmark that has been part of the community for twenty years, owners Peggy and Dan Dunklee started this one-of-a-kind used bookstore in a little storefront on the corner of 5th and Pollasky over ten years ago.

Peggy and Dan Dunklee at the Clovis Hall of Fame Awards

Peggy explained, “My husband and I started the store because we knew most used bookstores were going out of business, and we wanted the community to be able to come in and find their treasures!” And…find their treasures they do! The Dunklee’s favorite part of each day is meeting new customers as well as seeing customers that have become friends. Each day adds to their treasure trove of friends and books—making for the perfect combination!

Since they first opened, the popularity of this small business has grown so much that it prompted a move to their current location on Clovis Avenue. This larger space has allowed the Book Barn to expand not only their physical space, but their selection of used books that range from hard-to-find collections to every-day-fun-to-read titles as well.

Peggy and Dan make it so effortless for readers to find whatever they are looking for, including an on-line search feature that allows you to hunt for easy and hard to find titles. Whether you want to browse or have a specific title in mind, the search is as close as your fingertips.

Another unique aspect of the Clovis Book Barn, is their selection of hard to find children’s books and California Western History. They always have a wide selection of signed and unsigned first editions in stock. With a swell of support from their customers, Peggy and Dan have created a far-reaching selection of used, rare, and out of print as well as collectors editions.

Peggy and Dan are active on the Clovis Book Barn’s social media sites and highlight many local authors on their FB page and through their newsletter. Occasionally, they even launch fun contests for their followers! They buy, sell, trade, and take in donations. They are still offering curbside service, which has really caught on. Currently, you can find about 120,000 listings online (yes, that is one hundred and twenty thousand!) that sell via the website, Amazon, and several other book sites.

Peggy, Michelle, Deric, and Audra

Their business model is unique and has been a source of success since the beginning. They purchase used books for resale, but have a set of stringent guidelines for what they accept and don’t accept. Peggy explained further, “We take in most books, and what we can’t use, we send along to the Fresno County Friends of the Library. The most popular books are general fiction and children’s books. We do have a great selection of local history—the biggest in the area! The books we don’t take are torn, broken spines, and if we already have several copies, or books that are real slower sellers. Pretty much, it’s supply and demand.”

When it’s not COVID time, the Clovis Book Barn is alive with action and in-person activities! There are book signings, book launches, art classes, readings, and even visits from Mother Goose who came in to read to children. Special events, including a Picture Book Festival, a Summer Reading Program, and a special visit from Santa and his elf were all held on site. Also part of the activities included was a therapy dog that came in to visit on Saturdays, and a reptile class, dinosaur class, and poetry readings.

Since COVID, the Clovis Book Barn was closed for about 2-1/2 months. But, the Dunklees got creative! That’s when they started doing curbside pickup and mail-out orders to local customers. They put up plexiglass, have masks and gloves, and credit the Clovis Chamber of Commerce with assisting them in their safety efforts. They were heartened by customers who donated money to the business, and in typical Dunklee fashion, they have paid it forward and passed along gift certificates with those funds. They are still providing curbside pick up and mail orders for those customers who prefer that method of buying their books. Also notable since COVID, there has been an increase in online sales, which has proven to be very helpful to the Book Barn and customers alike.

Some of the Leatherbounds they have in stock.

Going right along with the organizing and cleaning trends that have captivated those staying close to home during COVID. Peggy said they had experienced a big surge in people wanting to sell or donate their used books. She explained, “We noticed an increase on online sales since the beginning of COVID, which is very helpful, since about half of the customers are still sheltering in place. Since COVID, we think Fresno County have cleaned out their closets, garages full of books, and they either want to donate or sell them. We do take out 50-100 boxes per week to the Friends of the Library. There are a lot of books that come in!”

As a reminder, the Clovis Book Barn offers their items on-line at Amazon and ABE Books, as well as their own on-line pages. They are constantly adding to their searchable titles. Any item may be purchased through any of the on-line venues, or with a phone call or email can be picked up at the store to save shipping charges.

Find the Clovis Book Barn online at www.clovisbookbarn.com.
A Book Barn
640 Clovis Ave.
Clovis, CA 93612
(559) 297-9052
info@clovisbookbarn[dot]com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClovisBookBarn
Twitter twitter.com/ClovisBookBarn
Instagram

Kathy Eide Casas is a valley native and has been involved in politics, public policy and public relations her entire career. From the U. S. and state capitols to local projects, she has been a guiding force. Most recently, Eide-Casas completed the writing for two U Turns Allowed magazines, benefiting Focus Forward. Additionally, her work has run in several other local publications, including Valley Health Magazine.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Nora-Adrienne Deret
Twitter: @Nora-Adrienne
January 27, 2021 at 10:13pm

This place reminds me a lot of the old Biblio Barn in Upstate NY. It was a 3 story red barn with books in every nook and cranny. I large parking lot also. It was on the “Book Trail” that I visit every few years to stock up on used books that I can’t borrow from the local library.
A recent post from Nora-Adrienne Deret: We’re into 2021 and I’m trying to see anything different about our NEW year. Hopefully things will get better so I can head down to Virginia for the 4th of July this year.My Profile

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