There’s something noteworthy about a quaint and cozy bookstore that makes your heart melt, especially in Hawaii. The sights, the fragrance, and the ambiance are like no other. Bookstores have that one-of-a-kind, come on in and read awhile vibe that sets it above the rest. Avid readers, aspiring authors, and friends from all over the world will enjoy visiting the Kona Stories Bookstore for all this and more. We highly recommend visiting this unique place. It’s easy to find right in the historical Keahou Shopping Center. This friendly, independent bookstore opened its doors back in 2006 by two book lovers and entrepreneurs, Brenda McConnell and Joy Vogelgesang. Today, their “smart” and clever concept has evolved and remains fun and relevant. They’ve added a few creative personal twists that add an interesting twist to their book store story.
You see, Kona Stories has all genres of books from favorite classics, the latest hardcover to the newest hot off the press bestseller. There are more than 10,000 titles to peruse! This is an interesting twist. They understand how difficult it is to not only write a book from beginning to end, they realize it’s even more difficult to sell. So they came up with a consignment program to help. They invite budding authors to bring copies of their books to Kona and will help them market their work. It’s an 80/40 split, and it is working! Another opportunity is for budding authors to speak at a Words and Wine event and everyone is invited to attend and hear all about the authors’ work. Refreshments are included during the evening creating a fun, entertaining evening out. These special features have helped launch new authors’ careers…Mahalo!
They also specialize in Hawaiian-themed stores, and kids’ books so if you are interested in learning more about the Big Island or teaching your children about Hawaiian history, there’s a book for you. Bring your two to six-year-old to Story Time, held on the last Wednesday of each month. Volunteers read stories to the children followed by a fun art activity. All you have to do is go to the Kona Stories website, check out the themes, and find the link to register. Your children will have a wonderful time meeting new friends and enjoying a special story. You could meet a new book-loving friend, too.
Plan to stick around and stay awhile. There is so much to see and experience in this extra special cozy corner of the world. Of course, you can browse and shop for books, but you can also shop for a special gift in their gift section, attend a book club, writers groups, workshops, and author events each week. If you time it just right, enjoy a Hawaiian cultural event in the outdoor courtyard that overlooks the gorgeous Pacific Ocean.
You can also spend some time with their friendly house cats. That’s right, the owners are friends of the local humane society and have adopted friendly cats throughout the years. They feel strongly that every bookstore needs to have a cat! When new cats arrive they engage the customers in a name the cat contest. Our favorite is Page and Turner and Lilo and Stitch. Their affectionate cats love the attention from all the folks that come to browse the book section. You may even see someone curled up on a couch with one of the furry friends enjoying a good book. Now that’s what we call, a purr-fect read!
Kona Stories Book Store offers book clubs in person and online via Zoom. The entrance is located inside the Keahou Shopping Mall. They carry unique gift items, board games, and greeting cards.