formerly Shakespeare and Company Books, now VIcarious Experience

Quarter-Grand Opening in Cotati

I am planning to reopen the Cotati Store October 1, Thursday, from 2 pm to 6 pm. I will probably be open Saturdays the same times. The reason it is a 'quarter grand opening? Because only about a quarter of the shop will be ready to open. The address is 60 W. Sierra Ave, Cotati, CA. 94931. For those of you coming from S.F. or the East Bay, take 101 going north to Santa Rosa. The West Sierra exit is the second Cotati exit, right after the Railroad Ave. exit.  When you leave the freeway, turn right on W. Sierra Ave. Go past the 5th block and we are on the right in a little old house, currently, pretty well over grown with shrubery. We might take care of some of the shrubbery before opening. If you reach a park area, with a accordion player statue on the left, you have gone one block too far. There is public parking directly across the street from us, but do not park on the street, as all of West Sierra is lined with bicycle lanes and designated 'no parking'. 

I may be open at times other than I have stated. I need to feel out my schedule .But also, I may have to close for carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand. My right hand was done a month ago. During the time recovering from surgery, I might be open alot, as I will probably rarely leave the house. I am looking into an alternative cure hoping to avoid surgery that might solve some other problems too.

And I plan to open the books on this website for sale on Oct. 1 too.

I look forward to seeing you.

Written by Jon Wobber — September 16, 2015

Getting better

I had surgery on my right hand about 3 weeks ago, stitches out last week. I am finally driving again. It is still going to be a while before store reopening. I  wish for December, but am not holding my breath. I still have limited use of my hands, and that will be so for a little bit.It is getting better. Doc says no problem typing (other than my lifelong ability to mistype 20 words a minute).

I found this in front of the Rohnert Park Library. California is under a severe drought. But sometimes water saving goes too far.

Written by Jon Wobber — September 04, 2015

A break in the action

I have begun adding the kind of books I would like to see here. Perhaps you have noticed we have books listed, but none of them are currently for sale. Unfortunately I can't sell books right now because I have been diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both hands. It is bad enough that I may never recover 100%, although good enough functionality should return. One of the problems is that packing books is very hard on my hands. So as a result, I am able to add listings, which isn't so hard on hands. After I heal enough from surgery, I will put the books for sale. Hopefully, until then there will still be interesting things happening here.

Written by Jon Wobber — August 11, 2015

Big Changes at Shakespeare & Co

On June 2nd we closed the Berkeley store due to sales not keeping up with overhead, and the wear the long commute has had on me. We tried to sell the store to keep it going, but had no takers. I live 50 miles from Berkeley in a small town (teaming metropolis as I call it) called Cotati. It is an early stop, halfway between Petaluma and Santa Rosa, on the way to the North Bay Wine Country..

For a number of years, before I bought Shakespeare, I ran a bookstore out of my home in Cotati. I plan to revive the 'Vicarious Experience'  bookstore at 60 W. Sierra Ave., but it will take some time.  There is lots to do. 

I also plan some changes to this website. The books here will be of a more collectible nature. 

So please be patient during website reconstruction.

Written by Jon Wobber — July 16, 2015

The state of Berkeley bookstores: Shakespeare & Company

Berkeley — hometown of hippies, foodies, counterculturalists and revolutionaries — has become one of the last gleaming centers of independent bookstores in the Bay Area.

In recent years, independent bookstores have transitioned from warehouses of writing to experimental laboratories of learning. And the stakes could not be higher. In the digital era, online monoliths such as Amazon have pushed brick-and-mortar bookstores, chain and independent alike, to the brink. For the vast majority, an unwillingness to respond to changing times has led to Darwinian consequences: extinction. But for the mighty minority, that tenacious species still clinging to survival, evolution has necessitated rethinking what it means to sell books.....

Written by Jon Wobber — February 26, 2014

Welcome to Telegraph

Get a job: One day, Shakespeare & Co.'s new owner Jon Wobber was being interviewed by an Oakland Tribune reporter when a guy walked into the Telegraph Avenue bookshop and offered Wobber his résumé. Explaining that the résumé didn't properly reflect his extensive literary knowledge, the would-be clerk assured Wobber that he knows a lot about books.....

Written by Jon Wobber — February 25, 2014