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Sonoma County Gazette

Bookstore Tour: Mendocino County's Four Eyed Frog Books

Nov 26, 2018


By Robin Joy Wellman

Some of my fondest memories with the boys was visiting our local bookstore, The Four-Eyed Frog, to browse. They would get to pick out one book, but they looked at all of them. It was always a tough decision as they had so many good titles to choose from.

When birthdays came around for friends or family I would often stop in as they have a great collection of fun gifts as well as gift cards. This meant that when those friends or family came to visit we made our way to the bookstore to redeem those gift cards.

That was long ago when my boys were young and when Joel owned and ran the bookstore with his brother, Jeremy. Joel opened the store in 2003.

Now the the independent bookstore, known by fans as ‘the Frog’, is owned by a collective group of shareholders, a community of about 24 passionate owners as of 2016.

Joel has been back on the coast with his wife. Both are now volunteering, a fact I learned when I heard Joel’s voice on the store's phone. 

“While the locals are very supportive, tourists to our area make up an important part of our business. As it says on our bookmark, ‘Families from all over the country, as far away as Florida, buy most of their books from our little bookstore in Gualala,'" Joel said.

The store is located along the most southern end of the beautiful Mendocino Coast in the small, lovely town of Gualala which offers the best views, great breakfasts, lunches and dinners, wonderful lodging, sounds of crashing waves, and an eclectic group of people.

All a great experience for you to enjoy! And frogs! The bookstore has been gifted frog figurines over the years from friends, and now they line the shelves too, keeping a smile on your face.

Among the warmth of the frogs you will find fiction, non-fiction, mysteries, biographies, cooking, spiritual health, nature, and many titles from our local authors (many of them signed), and a small used book section.

The store's children's books section.

They also have greeting cards, puzzles, coloring books, and other little trinkets. They have free Wi-Fi, coffee or tea, comfortable chairs to hang out in, and they always have a jigsaw puzzle which you can lend a hand in. I really love when they host authors from near and far as you get the real inside story of the book, as well as a signed copy.

We are all so blessed to have this gem in our neighborhood. I hope you will find the time to visit, browse, have a cup of coffee or tea, read a book, and place a few pieces into the jigsaw puzzle. 

Come say hello to the staff, the many volunteers, and to Argish, the store dog. To learn all about them and to learn about Max, the newest and youngest shareholder in the store, please visit their web page at

Four-Eyed Frog Books is located in theCypress Village neighborhood of Gualala, California.



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