Tucked between a lively dock and the small Main Street of Sausalito, California is a small bookstore with big personality.

I came across Book Passage By-the-Bay by accident. My husband and I were spending the better part of the day at Muir Woods, feeling dwarfed by the redwoods and enjoying the weather the best we could in our puffy coats. What they don’t tell you about Muir Woods is there’s no cell service, and so no way to order a Lyft like we did on the way up. Without much options, we took a cab with a 50 buck flat fee that only dropped off at Sausalito.

If you’ve been to Sausalito, you know how its small-town charm comes as a welcome escape from the bustling, brilliant San Francisco. We decided to wander along the dock before ordering our ride, and that’s when I noticed Book Passage.

Inside, books are neatly lined by category, with some wildcards on display tables throughout. I had gone in March, when Mueller submitted his report, and so one of the displays curated, “What to Read While You’re Waiting to Read the Mueller Report” which included titles like The Sopranos Sessions by Matt Zoller Seitz and Alan Sepinwall, and I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara. It also had a section dedicated to literary journals like McSweeney’s, which I bought on the way out (there’s always room for short story balloons on any shelf).

The shop is situated like a General Store, a last-chance-to-grab-necessities-before-a-voyage kind of place, and that’s precisely what it is. The passages we take within the pages of books, and the lessons they give, are essential to our trek through life. Sometimes, we need to stop a moment and collect our necessities before embarking again.

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