Gary & Denise launched Two Birds Books in late 2020. (Yes, we know that we were taking a chance there!)

Gary is an ex-manager of animal shelters and residential health facilities. He loves sci-fi, non-fiction, and “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein. Gary has dreamed of owning a bookstore since he was a kid. As a teenager, he spent so much time in his neighborhood used book store that the owner gave him one of her store couches when he went off to college. 

Denise came to Santa Cruz in 1999 to get a PhD in Literature and never left. She edits books, teaches writing at UCSC, and is excited that her book hoarding suddenly seems less extreme now that she co-owns a bookstore. She loves literary fiction; cultural histories, especially of random things (chocolate, cheese, the stapler); smart mysteries; and a nice escape via an enemies-to-lovers romance or a found-family cozy fantasy.

Marsh, our store dog, is admittedly not a big reader but loves getting attention from our customers.

Recommended Books

Special Orders

Great news! If you don’t see something you want on our shelves, we can usually get it in for you within days, and you’ll be supporting a local indie bookstore instead of You-Know-Where. We place special orders for customers every day! Let us know what you want in person or over the phone, and we’ll give you a call when it’s ready to pick up.

Trade-in Policy

We’ll happily consider your used books for trade-in store credit, evaluated on a book-by-book basis. Some guidelines: 

Books must be in good condition: no stains, strong smells, markings, or torn covers please. Sorry, we are not purchasing ex-library books or textbooks. We take into consideration the book’s age, desirability, market value, and condition. The more recently a title was released, the more likely we’ll be interested in it. You may bring your trade-in books to the store during regular business hours. If the store is busy, you may leave the books to be assessed while you are away, or make an appointment for another time. We often procure books from estates and other sales; please contact us to arrange an assessment.

Bookstore Hours:

Open 10:00am-6:00pm Th-Tu

Closed Wednesdays


881 41st Avenue

Santa Cruz, CA 95062

(831) 900-5588

Search Books

In addition to our curated collection of books in-store, you can buy books online via the search engine below—all the ease of Amazon, but with the benefit of supporting Two Birds Books instead of billionaire space travel!