About Us


Located in the beautiful San Ramon Valley, at the base of Mt. Diablo, Rakestraw Books "The Bookstore in Danville" strives to be a place where books and writers and readers matter.

Founded in 1973, Rakestraw Books is a small, independent bookshop that remains dedicated to the principles espoused by its founders: to sell a variety of books of merit; to help readers discover those books; to sponsor events that bring a diverse range of writers and artists to our community; and to accomplish these tasks in a manner that is both professional and friendly.

Our particular strengths are contemporary fiction -- although we maintain a strong showing in British writers from fifty years ago; literary essays; biographies; and literature of travel. Each month a number of authors visit Rakestraw Books – as part of our successful Writers and Readers at Rakestraw program -- to share their latest works with our audience of readers. These events allow us, and our community, to take part in the larger literary conversation of our day. Past guests have included Jon Meacham, Salman Rushdie, Jeannette Walls, Calvin Trillin, and Elinor Lipman. This list, and a glance at this month’s calendar of events, should prove the dynamism of this popular program. We also have an unusually strong selection of children’s books – both contemporary titles and classic works. Moreover, we support our young readers with specialty book groups and a lively program of author and illustrator visits. Some of the best children’s writers and illustrators have visited Rakestraw Books over the years. From Peter Sis to Philip Pullman, from Jean Craighead George to Jamie Lee Curtis, our children’s events program is a lively and successful one.

We are generally thought of as a "literary bookstore," and with writers such as Russell Banks, Marilynne Robinson, and Michael Chabon dominating our bestseller list, it is easy to see why. We make no apologies for purchasing decisions motivated by our sense of quality and by our enthusiasms rather than by a cynical perception of what “will sell.” It has always been our aim to be a general bookstore, a refuge for the wide-ranging mind, a place where everyone will find something to her taste – original, first-rate, and somewhat out of the ordinary. This is not the direction in which the big chain bookstores or the big websites are heading. Nonetheless, it is the one towards which we strive. This is the reason we exist and why we continue to thrive.

We are extremely proud of having won awards statewide, regionally, and locally, including in part: Danville Area Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year; Business of the Year for the 16th Assembly District; The Debi Echlin Award for Community Bookselling; and Best Bookstore for both Diablo magazine and Danville Express.

Why shop at Rakestraw Books "The Bookstore in Danville," your local independent bookstore?

- To support a store that has contributed to the civic and creative life of this community for 40 years.
- To support your local community by keeping your shopping dollars local.
- To ensure that you have the continued opportunity to meet a varied and fascinating array of world-renowned and new authors.
- To ensure that you will always have a place to go where you can experience that wonderful sense of discovery that comes with finding a new book, a new author, a new genre, a new enthusiasm, an enlightening conversation or a quiet moment.

Thank you for your patronage and your support of the work we do!