From an article published in The Baja Citizen
A New Chapter
Local book enthusiasts and readers will be pleased to hear Allende Books, the English - language bookstore in La Paz will remain open. Kat and Bruce Bennett, the owners for the past 10 years planned to close the doors at the end of March unless a new owner surfaced. Luckily, Deb Thorneycroft heard the bookstore was available and quickly decided it was precisely the opportunity she'd been seeking.
"I fell in love with La Paz and Balandra Beach during my first visit last winter. Soon after I arrived, I saw an advertisement for Allende Books, and as I was traveling alone and didn't speak Spanish, I immediately headed to the bookstore. I was grateful to find people who spoke English as I had numerous questions about the area. Kat and Bruce Bennett graciously answered all my questions, and I found myself returning to their store several times throughout the winter."
When Deb returned to La Paz this year she was delighted to discover the bookstore for sale. "For decades, it has been my dream to move to Mexico, but I wasn't quite sure how I could do it. Buying the bookstore will enable me to live here permanently."
Initially from British Columbia, Canada, Deb spent her first thirty years near Vancouver in the Fraser Valley before leaving the coastal climate for the drier semi-arid South Okanagan. Deb enjoys the hot, dry summers, and abundant fruit orchards and vineyards in the Okanagan Valley, but Canadian winters are long and chilly, so she is happy to spend them in La Paz.
A lifelong reader, Deb looks forward to running the bookstore, meeting new people and learning Spanish. An avid environmentalist, she also wants to sail and explore the diverse marine life by snorkeling and diving in the Sea of Cortez. Deb also enjoys photography, capturing images of people, nature and wildlife.
Grateful for the opportunity to be able to keep the store open, Deb looks forward to starting an exciting new chapter in her life. "I plan to keep the store much the same as the previous owners have set it up. They've learned over the years what books appeal to local readers and have optimized their space and location really well. I hope to continue their tradition of providing English-language books, maps, postcards and gifts to visitors and local residents."
Intrigued by architecture, Deb appreciates Allende Books being housed in the 150-year-old colonial building that used to be the State Courthouse and jail. The building has gone through several renovations and now includes the beautiful El Ángel Azul Hotel, Bambú (a consignment clothing store), as well as Allende Books. Located on the corner of Gmo. Prieto and Independencia the bookstore is a block past the Cathedral in the historic town centre.
Deb would like to thank Kat and Bruce Bennett for the opportunity to take over their store and for sharing their wisdom and insights with her. "They both have been extremely kind and accommodating, helping me to learn the ins and outs of the business, and I am very appreciative of their help. They have literally made my Mexico dream - a reality."
Deb is busy ordering in new stock and will keep the store open until the end of May this year. It will close for the summer months but reopen October 1st. She invites everyone to stop in and say hi and let her know if there are any items they would like her to stock.
What's in a name?
"Allende" is the name of a Mexican national hero, Ignacio Allende, a general who fought for the independence of Mexico from the Spanish during the early 1800s. Originally a captain in the Spanish army, he came to believe in the vision of an independent Mexico. He fought alongside Miguel Hidalgo in the first stages of the struggle, and succeeded Hidalgo as the leader of the rebellion. Allende was eventually captured by the Spanish authorities and executed for treason.
"Allende" can also mean "beyond," although it is used more frequently in prose and poetry than in spoken language.