Thinking about a great read.

Open: Tues. - Sat. 10 AM to 6 PM

3645 C Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA, 94549

(925) 385-3026

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Reasonable Books is an independent bookstore in the East San Francisco Bay Area located in Lafayette, California. We are here to serve as a general bookstore with an emphasis on thoughtful and important subjects for the interested and discerning reader.

While we strive to make available illuminating materials you may not even realize you want to read, we also believe that the mind benefits from rest and healthy distractions. You will find books that can help you relax or escape for a well-deserved break here.


2 December 2020: It is typically a great pleasure to meet the residents of Lafayette and nearby either in person, or on the phone, or via email, and so we are keeping online ordering from Reasonable Books to a bare minimum. This means you should feel free to send us enquiries at We'll do our best to get you information on availability and pricing, and will happily place an order for you when you'd like us to do so.

We are also looking into hosting book-related events online, and are currently trying to gauge local interest in Richard Haiduck's "Shifting Gears: 50 Baby Boomers Share Their Meaningful Journeys in Retirement". Shifting Gears is based on interviews with retirees, telling how they are shifting gears in their retirement. Sometimes they shift smoothly, sometimes they grind the gears, and often they take some time to find their groove. The stories reveal the rich abundance of retirement ventures, from the exotic to the mundane. Discover their joys, challenges, and inspirations that were part of their journey in this next stage of life. If you belong to a book club or similar group who might be interested in attending an online event with the author (and perhaps someone from Reasonable Books), please reach out to us at You will find the book in our Local Authors section.

29 November 2020: An update to our reading section can be found below with an excerpt from the logician Charles Dodgson.

28 November 2020: Thanks to everyone for their support during 2020's Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. We hope you have a safe holiday season and thank you for your patience when visiting the store; we are currently permitted six persons at a time in the store according to the county's public health guidance.

The Local Authors section now includes "Invisible Wounds" by Lyn Roberts, "a powerful portrait of one man's struggle to heal from his trauma experienced in both war and personal life. When Steven discovers David Lane's Civil War letters, the similarities that haunt his own war in Vietnam set him on a path of redemption. With each discovered letter, Steven learns another part of the secret to healing and building a fearless life of purpose."

24 November 2020: We wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving for 2020! Our Local Authors display continues to grow with a book sure to draw the East Bay hiker and historical enthusiast, as well as a compelling work of historico-cultural fiction.

"Native American Indian Sites In the East Bay Hills" by James Benney guides you across Native American sites in the East Bay Hills along with a brief history of indigenous culture in the East Bay Hills. You can read more about it here.

Cheryl Vaught is a teacher, writer, and ex-Mormon activist. She lives in Northern California with her husband and near her two grandchildren. "Plural Bride To Be" captures in novel form the the historic 1953 statewide police investigation of polygamy called Operation Seagull as it leads to young Karen Hardy's Utah farm family. You can read more about it on GoodReads.

21 November 2020: We're very pleased to include Jill Hedgecock in our Local Authors section next to the counter. Jill is an award-winning and internationally-published author.

Rhino in the Room is a beautifully written and an intellectually stimulating debut novel from Jill Hedgecock. It's power is in advocating for a worthy cause-that of the rhino, using the storyteller's eye. This is a novel for anyone with an interest in the natural world and the rhino. This is a novel for everyone!: Read more here.

After orphaned sixteen-year-old Sarah Whitman rescues a Doberman, her secret living situation is jeopardized. Shadow’s incessant barking has drawn unwanted attention from the authorities. Desperate to keep her pet, Sarah turns to an animal behaviorist, Dr. Claudia Griffin, only to be informed that Shadow barks because her house is haunted. Sarah is skeptical until a chance discovery reveals that she can see ghosts through Shadow by placing her fingers between her dog’s eyes — an act that inadvertently draws her into a deadly feud instigated by Dr. Griffin. Can Sarah find a way to save herself and Shadow?: Read more here.

From the moment orphaned teen Sarah stepped through the door of her temporary foster home, her guardian’s “Mean Girl” granddaughter has made her life a living hell. More than anything Sarah longs to take her ghost-seeing Doberman, Shadow, and move back into the cozy home her father bought for her before he died. When Sarah brings Shadow to her new high school to model for a class art project, she spots the ghost of a toddler boy while petting the space between her dog’s eyes. Despite being warned to forget the incident, she becomes obsessed with finding out the child’s identity. Sarah’s investigation into the little boy’s death draws the attention of his murderer and she finds herself struggling to avoid becoming the killer’s next victim.: Read more here.

17 November 2020: "A Promised Land" has been getting a lot of attention and is available as of today. We also have two additional titles in the Local Authors section of the store from Mike Metcalf.

"In his new book, Inklings: John Wilkins Carter and the Carter’s Ink Company, Michael F. Metcalf tells the story of an old New England family and the companies they created and operated— beginning with Timothy Carter’s Old Corner Bookstore in downtown Boston and spanning a 150-year period." You can read more about this beautiful book here.

"In September 1979, newlyweds Michael and Sharon Metcalf set out on a yearlong adventure at sea on their yacht, Mystic Isle." "What's Luck Got To Do With It? Adventures at Sea on Mystic Isle" tells the story of how they "planned, prepared, hard sailed, made friendships, and, most important, how they learned self-reliance, faith in each other, and perseverance."

10 November 2020: Our selection of featured books by local authors is growing and has moved to the wall next to the counter. Six titles have been added to group.

Claudia Long's historical novel "Nine Tenths of the Law" is about "two sisters, their mother, and a Nazi thief: combining the strands of history, mystery and the enduring power of buried memories." You can read more about it here.

Raea Gragg's "MUP" is "a graphic novel for children ages 7-12. It's a coming of age tale that follows two girls on their adventure to save the earth and learn to accept the changes that come with time while staying true to themselves." You can read more about Raea and her book here.

Steven Burchik's "Compass and a Camera" documents his experience in the Vietnam war through his memories, wartime correspondence and photographs. You can learn more about the book at Goodreads.

Brian Donohoe's "The Spirit of Fiat Lux" is a hard bound coffee table book with beautiful photography, prose and poetry; it is also a key source of information about Public Service Contracts to help fund public higher education.

Brian Donohoe has also recently published "In the Company of Men", an examination of men's issues and Christian life.

"Al Davis: Behind the Raiders Shield" is "an accurate, detailed portrayal of a man in the pantheon of notable sports figures of the 20th century" written by some of the men who worked closely with him, including longtime Oakland Raiders scout and Lafayette resident Jon Kingdon.

6 November 2020: It's a good time to step back from your troubles and read a bit. Here's a story from James Joyce.

1 November 2020: Winston Churchill was an American novelist, and below you'll find an excerpt from his best-selling novel from 1901, The Crisis. Thanks to the Lamorinda Weekly and the East Bay Times for telling our story this week!

26 October 2020: Thanks to the patrons asking for gift certificates! We now have them available in a variety of amounts.

20 October 2020: We are very pleased to have books released recently by local authors. One is "Say Goodbye to Plastic: A Survival Guide for Plastic-Free Living" by Sandra Ann Harris. Sandra's book will help you live more sustainably in your daily life.

We are also happy to carry copies of "Meet the Principal: My Journey Beyond the Curriculum" by Jane Blomstrand, a veteran of public school leadership in California. Jane's stories will inspire and educate anyone with an interest in the important institution of education for the young.

17 October 2020: Do you know that the "Read" link above takes you to a bite-sized selection of public domain reading material that updates occasionally? The latest selection may help set the tone for Halloween season.

16 October 2020: A fallacy is an invalid pattern of reasoning, that is, a form of argument whose premises do not imply its conclusion (which may be true or false). For example, TU QUOQUE or APPEAL TO HYPOCRISY: Denying or excusing guilt by attributing it to the accuser.

15 October 2020: Shopping locally is an important way to help make up for the shortfall in local sales tax revenue, and doing so helps local businesses struggling during the public health emergency. You can find alternatives to online shopping by consulting the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce Member Directory. Thank you for considering your local businesses!

2 October 2020: It is a pleasure to open the store each day and meet everyone who visits. Even short conversations about books and the love of reading are special. For those wondering, "Reasonable LLC" uses the word in this sense: fair, commonsensical, rational, practical and polite.

30 September 2020: The bookcases have been delivered and are now in place! This means we will be reorganizing the new and used books shortly, and expanding our selection. A number of visitors have asked for books we did not have, and we have copies of them now. We'll gratefully take any suggestions for good titles we lack.

24 September 2020: It has been a pleasure meeting so many visitors during our first two weeks! The topic of used books has come up on occasion. Currently, we are accepting used book donations and will try to find them a home, either through the store or with outside non-profit organizations. We hope to have a credit policy in the future, as space and time permit.

19 September 2020: What a week!

18 September 2020: Not making much noise about this, but... we are open for browsing, counter service and pickups. Still waiting on bookcases, so the inventory is tucked away in the back of the store. It has been nice to meet so many people during the quiet opening. The chairs in front are for anyone to use; we're thinking about how to put some reading material there for friends, neighbors and visitors. :)

13 September 2020: Thanks to our friends for all the work on the sign! Next: some chairs, tables, plants, bookcases. We will require safe practices for visitors, and hope to welcome you very soon :)

9 September 2020: An alpha version of our in-store inventory is available here.

7 September 2020: The latest work has been twofold: sorting and preparing new books for display on shelves arriving in the next week, and getting the new signage ready for installation next weekend. Once the sign is up, we have an eager crew ready to prepare the storefront with book displays and other elements to make an inviting shop. We will adhere to current safety precautions diligently while being ready to welcome visitors in numbers of three or so, safely distanced.

An online service via email should be straightforward since the kids have helped to create a database of all the current inventory. You will see a rough-and-ready list of everything we have soon, and please feel free to send comments. Soft-open will be the week after the sign is installed (this is an aspirational statement). Thanks for all the good wishes so far, Lafayette!

3 September 2020: Most of the new book inventory has arrived, and there are sizable offerings in the following areas: Current Fiction, Classic Literature, History, Philosophy, Humanities, Young Adult. The new sign will be delivered this Sunday, and after a week of preparation, painting and lettering, we intend to install it the following Sunday. We intend to soft-launch Reasonable Books the following week, with some work left to do :)

26 August 2020: That's a lot of boxes of books and it's only halfway done.

25 August 2020: The initial used book inventory has been moved to the store, and for now these books are living on our repurposed library shelves (we are fairly certain these came from the Alameda County Public Library). The timing on this is good, since the new book inventory will begin delivery tomorrow and continue through the rest of the week.

The store signage will be a challenge as it involves a full rebuild of the sign and installation over a sizable awning. We're keeping our fingers crossed that this will happen within a week or so.

10 August 2020: The build out of our space continues at the former Papyrus storefront at 3645C Mount Diablo Boulevard, in the West End Shops near Trader Joe's. This was the second Papyrus store and will feel familiar even after it has been repurposed for books. Stationery and children's books are already served in Lafayette, so please visit our neighbors as the holidays approach.

So far, a lot of the messy work is done, including patching, painting and cleaning, with flooring up next, and then installing shelving and stocking the initial inventory of books. This has already been fun as well as hard work, and it has been a pleasure to meet so many people. More updates are forthcoming :)

Retail restrictions related to public health circumstances are a challenge in addition to those one would already expect of a new independent bookstore, and we appreciate your understanding and thank you for your input as we launch Reasonable Books to serve the residents of Lafayette, and the greater Lamorinda and East Bay Areas.

Work is in progress to provide online and delivery services locally. This may begin with email orders and personal deliveries in accordance with required safety protocols. It will be great to meet you however we can.


Reasonable is owned and operated by Rudy and Betty Winnacker. Email:

(Public Domain)

CHAPTER V. Advice from a Caterpillar

The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.

“Who are _you?_” said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, “I—I hardly know, sir, just at present—at least I know who I _was_ when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”

“What do you mean by that?” said the Caterpillar sternly. “Explain yourself!”

“I can’t explain _myself_, I’m afraid, sir,” said Alice, “because I’m not myself, you see.”

“I don’t see,” said the Caterpillar.

“I’m afraid I can’t put it more clearly,” Alice replied very politely, “for I can’t understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.”

“It isn’t,” said the Caterpillar.

“Well, perhaps you haven’t found it so yet,” said Alice; “but when you have to turn into a chrysalis—you will some day, you know—and then after that into a butterfly, I should think you’ll feel it a little queer, won’t you?”

“Not a bit,” said the Caterpillar.

“Well, perhaps your feelings may be different,” said Alice; “all I know is, it would feel very queer to _me_.”

“You!” said the Caterpillar contemptuously. “Who are _you?_”

Which brought them back again to the beginning of the conversation. Alice felt a little irritated at the Caterpillar’s making such _very_ short remarks, and she drew herself up and said, very gravely, “I think, you ought to tell me who _you_ are, first.”

“Why?” said the Caterpillar.

Here was another puzzling question; and as Alice could not think of any good reason, and as the Caterpillar seemed to be in a _very_ unpleasant state of mind, she turned away.

“Come back!” the Caterpillar called after her. “I’ve something important to say!”

This sounded promising, certainly: Alice turned and came back again.

“Keep your temper,” said the Caterpillar.

“Is that all?” said Alice, swallowing down her anger as well as she could.

“No,” said the Caterpillar.

Alice thought she might as well wait, as she had nothing else to do, and perhaps after all it might tell her something worth hearing. For some minutes it puffed away without speaking, but at last it unfolded its arms, took the hookah out of its mouth again, and said, “So you think you’re changed, do you?”

“I’m afraid I am, sir,” said Alice; “I can’t remember things as I used—and I don’t keep the same size for ten minutes together!”

“Can’t remember _what_ things?” said the Caterpillar.

“Well, I’ve tried to say “How doth the little busy bee,” but it all came different!” Alice replied in a very melancholy voice.

“Repeat, “_You are old, Father William_,’” said the Caterpillar.

Alice folded her hands, and began:—

“You are old, Father William,” the young man said, “And your hair has become very white; And yet you incessantly stand on your head— Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

“In my youth,” Father William replied to his son, “I feared it might injure the brain; But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none, Why, I do it again and again.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “as I mentioned before, And have grown most uncommonly fat; Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door— Pray, what is the reason of that?”

“In my youth,” said the sage, as he shook his grey locks, “I kept all my limbs very supple By the use of this ointment—one shilling the box— Allow me to sell you a couple?”

“You are old,” said the youth, “and your jaws are too weak For anything tougher than suet; Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak— Pray, how did you manage to do it?”

“In my youth,” said his father, “I took to the law, And argued each case with my wife; And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw, Has lasted the rest of my life.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “one would hardly suppose That your eye was as steady as ever; Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose— What made you so awfully clever?”

“I have answered three questions, and that is enough,” Said his father; “don’t give yourself airs! Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff? Be off, or I’ll kick you down stairs!”

“That is not said right,” said the Caterpillar.

“Not _quite_ right, I’m afraid,” said Alice, timidly; “some of the words have got altered.”

“It is wrong from beginning to end,” said the Caterpillar decidedly, and there was silence for some minutes.

The Caterpillar was the first to speak.

“What size do you want to be?” it asked.

“Oh, I’m not particular as to size,” Alice hastily replied; “only one doesn’t like changing so often, you know.”

“I _don’t_ know,” said the Caterpillar.

Alice said nothing: she had never been so much contradicted in her life before, and she felt that she was losing her temper.

“Are you content now?” said the Caterpillar.

“Well, I should like to be a _little_ larger, sir, if you wouldn’t mind,” said Alice: “three inches is such a wretched height to be.”

“It is a very good height indeed!” said the Caterpillar angrily, rearing itself upright as it spoke (it was exactly three inches high).

“But I’m not used to it!” pleaded poor Alice in a piteous tone. And she thought of herself, “I wish the creatures wouldn’t be so easily offended!”

“You’ll get used to it in time,” said the Caterpillar; and it put the hookah into its mouth and began smoking again.

This time Alice waited patiently until it chose to speak again. In a minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and yawned once or twice, and shook itself. Then it got down off the mushroom, and crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it went, “One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.”

“One side of _what?_ The other side of _what?_” thought Alice to herself.

“Of the mushroom,” said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud; and in another moment it was out of sight.

Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the mushroom for a minute, trying to make out which were the two sides of it; and as it was perfectly round, she found this a very difficult question. However, at last she stretched her arms round it as far as they would go, and broke off a bit of the edge with each hand.

“And now which is which?” she said to herself, and nibbled a little of the right-hand bit to try the effect: the next moment she felt a violent blow underneath her chin: it had struck her foot!

She was a good deal frightened by this very sudden change, but she felt that there was no time to be lost, as she was shrinking rapidly; so she set to work at once to eat some of the other bit. Her chin was pressed so closely against her foot, that there was hardly room to open her mouth; but she did it at last, and managed to swallow a morsel of the lefthand bit.

* * * * * * *

* * * * * *

* * * * * * *

“Come, my head’s free at last!” said Alice in a tone of delight, which changed into alarm in another moment, when she found that her shoulders were nowhere to be found: all she could see, when she looked down, was an immense length of neck, which seemed to rise like a stalk out of a sea of green leaves that lay far below her.

“What _can_ all that green stuff be?” said Alice. “And where _have_ my shoulders got to? And oh, my poor hands, how is it I can’t see you?” She was moving them about as she spoke, but no result seemed to follow, except a little shaking among the distant green leaves.

As there seemed to be no chance of getting her hands up to her head, she tried to get her head down to them, and was delighted to find that her neck would bend about easily in any direction, like a serpent. She had just succeeded in curving it down into a graceful zigzag, and was going to dive in among the leaves, which she found to be nothing but the tops of the trees under which she had been wandering, when a sharp hiss made her draw back in a hurry: a large pigeon had flown into her face, and was beating her violently with its wings.

“Serpent!” screamed the Pigeon.

“I’m _not_ a serpent!” said Alice indignantly. “Let me alone!”

“Serpent, I say again!” repeated the Pigeon, but in a more subdued tone, and added with a kind of sob, “I’ve tried every way, and nothing seems to suit them!”

“I haven’t the least idea what you’re talking about,” said Alice.

“I’ve tried the roots of trees, and I’ve tried banks, and I’ve tried hedges,” the Pigeon went on, without attending to her; “but those serpents! There’s no pleasing them!”

Alice was more and more puzzled, but she thought there was no use in saying anything more till the Pigeon had finished.

“As if it wasn’t trouble enough hatching the eggs,” said the Pigeon; “but I must be on the look-out for serpents night and day! Why, I haven’t had a wink of sleep these three weeks!”

“I’m very sorry you’ve been annoyed,” said Alice, who was beginning to see its meaning.

“And just as I’d taken the highest tree in the wood,” continued the Pigeon, raising its voice to a shriek, “and just as I was thinking I should be free of them at last, they must needs come wriggling down from the sky! Ugh, Serpent!”

“But I’m _not_ a serpent, I tell you!” said Alice. “I’m a—I’m a—”

“Well! _What_ are you?” said the Pigeon. “I can see you’re trying to invent something!”

“I—I’m a little girl,” said Alice, rather doubtfully, as she remembered the number of changes she had gone through that day.

“A likely story indeed!” said the Pigeon in a tone of the deepest contempt. “I’ve seen a good many little girls in my time, but never _one_ with such a neck as that! No, no! You’re a serpent; and there’s no use denying it. I suppose you’ll be telling me next that you never tasted an egg!”

“I _have_ tasted eggs, certainly,” said Alice, who was a very truthful child; “but little girls eat eggs quite as much as serpents do, you know.”

“I don’t believe it,” said the Pigeon; “but if they do, why then they’re a kind of serpent, that’s all I can say.”

This was such a new idea to Alice, that she was quite silent for a minute or two, which gave the Pigeon the opportunity of adding, “You’re looking for eggs, I know _that_ well enough; and what does it matter to me whether you’re a little girl or a serpent?”

“It matters a good deal to _me_,” said Alice hastily; “but I’m not looking for eggs, as it happens; and if I was, I shouldn’t want _yours_: I don’t like them raw.”

“Well, be off, then!” said the Pigeon in a sulky tone, as it settled down again into its nest. Alice crouched down among the trees as well as she could, for her neck kept getting entangled among the branches, and every now and then she had to stop and untwist it. After a while she remembered that she still held the pieces of mushroom in her hands, and she set to work very carefully, nibbling first at one and then at the other, and growing sometimes taller and sometimes shorter, until she had succeeded in bringing herself down to her usual height.

It was so long since she had been anything near the right size, that it felt quite strange at first; but she got used to it in a few minutes, and began talking to herself, as usual. “Come, there’s half my plan done now! How puzzling all these changes are! I’m never sure what I’m going to be, from one minute to another! However, I’ve got back to my right size: the next thing is, to get into that beautiful garden—how _is_ that to be done, I wonder?” As she said this, she came suddenly upon an open place, with a little house in it about four feet high. “Whoever lives there,” thought Alice, “it’ll never do to come upon them _this_ size: why, I should frighten them out of their wits!” So she began nibbling at the righthand bit again, and did not venture to go near the house till she had brought herself down to nine inches high.

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