Pat Banning, owner of BookEnds, likes to say she has been in the book business since she “started working in the real world.” A long-time employee of the Honolulu Book Shop chain that once occupied the BookEnds space at Kailua Shopping Center, Banning came to the store’s rescue some two decades ago and bought the business when it was on the brink of closing its doors.
Today the small, independent and much-beloved bookstore in the heart of Kailua Town is a welcoming haven for book-lovers of all genres. More than 30,000 books, from the latest best-sellers to local authors and children’s stories, occupy the floor-to-ceiling shelves and overflow into neat stacks throughout the store, making each visit an adventure. A large portion of the inventory comprises used books, enabling Banning to offer a broad selection of titles. Charming children’s toys and games occupy a corner of the shop and make perfect pairings with a book or two for a thoughtful gift.
Long-time customers also know BookEnds is a place to find rare, out-of-print editions – or collectibles – that Banning picks up at garage sales or from her posse of book scouts. A 2017 feature story in Martha Stewart Living magazine put BookEnds literally on a map of best U.S. bookstores that specialize in “rare finds”.
“I didn’t know anything about collectibles – or their value – when I opened the store,” Banning admits, noting how the Internet has made a big difference in learning about this specialty market and the value of rare books. She keeps a tickler file for customer requests, keeping an eye out for one customer’s interest in all books about surfing or another book-lover’s interest in Hawaiiana titles.
Hot summer tip: Looking for a few easy summer reads? Check out BookEnds’ collection of gently used paperbacks on the Beach Books racks outside the store. Prices range from $1 to $4.
600 Kailua Road, #126