Year of the Fire Rooster–January 28, 2017

Year after year, Santa Cruz local Narrye Caldwell has made a name for herself with her annual Chinese Astrological analysis. We are happy to be able to offer her insights here for the first time.

Fire RoosterAll Chinese wisdom traditions, including medicine, divination, astrology, and feng shui, are systems of pattern identification that guide us in adapting gracefully to change. A world in flux is assumed; it is the one constant feature of life. Astrology is best viewed as a tool to discern where we are in the shifting cycles of time so we can adjust our expectations accordingly and therefore, from the Chinese point of view, cultivate longevity by not wasting our qi trying to swim against the current.

Last year’s current schooled us all in crisis management as the Fire Monkey’s erratic impulsiveness and dramatic flare produced an unprecedented bit of theater in American politics. Continue Reading


Hip Santa Cruz: the Film!

r_abraham_logos016 ralphlogos1Ralph Abraham gave a GREAT talk Thursday night at Logos. Speaking on a wide range of related topics—Santa Cruz in the 60’s, psychedelic use among computer programmers, a basic definition of chaos theory, his own travels from tenured Princeton professor to just-beginning UCSC—he entertained the audience for a good hour.

And if you can just kick yourself for not being there, you can now watch it here.

hipsantacruzAnd, if after watching it you want to pick up your own personal copy of the Hip Santa Cruz book, the catalyst for the talk and book-signing, use paypal button below to purchase.



Hip Santa Cruz & the Chaos Revolution: Ralph Abraham Book-signing

While it is most likely true that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” it may also be true that those who do not even know the past may be condemned to a dimmer appreciation of their present lives.

Ralph Abraham has chronicled the early 60’s in Santa Cruz in his new book, Hip Santa Cruz and, while the characters, places and events might not all be familiar to us, their presence is still rich in our daily life here. Continue Reading


And Now For Something Completely Different

When you have been in business for 45 years, you expect that you have seen just about everything that can happen in your store.

But the universe keeps some goodies in its back pocket, and early Saturday, about 1:30 in the morning, a motorcyclist and his bike crashed through the front window of Logos. No human was hurt, but a display table and a couple of hundred books met their demise. They will be mourned.

Just a few choice photos follow…







Bookstore: Cleburne, Texas

My friend (and photographer) William comments:

“It’s kind of comforting to know that you can have a modest little business and NOT have to have a professional facade to the establishment…”

©Wm Wms 2011


Why Logos is not as busy as BestBuy on Black Friday and why that is OK

Look. What Logos employee would not thrill at the site of people lining up  to come in and buy from us on Black Friday?

Every year (well, actually, every day of every year) we gear up to offer the best possible items at the best possible prices. We weekly comb through hundreds of boxes and bags of used and rare material; dozens of websites offering remainders and sale-priced items; and catalogues of the best and the worst that publishers offer. We visit people’s homes and storage units to pick through their libraries; we attend trade shows to search out just that book that no one would ever expect to find in any store in Santa Cruz.

Still, when people roll out of bed on Friday morning, stuffed with too much stuffing, they are headed to the malls, or to their computers, seeking the top-of-the-list toy or device for the least amount of money. We get that, and even encourage it, because when those gifts are all bought we know that enough money will have been saved to make the trip to Logos and find those two or three or twenty items that will be unique.

We can just about guarantee that there’s something here for everyone on your list, something that will make them look up at you and ask, “Where did you find this? I can’t believe it!”

Whether your recipient is a fine artist (have you seen our art book wall?) or a martial artist (the most complete section around); a child of the 21st century (our children’s book section covers several aisles, displays and tables) or a child of the 60’s (where can you still find Ram Dass these days?); a lover of novels (yes, a REAL literature section!) or a lover of love (Erotica? Oui, we have erotica!); a cook (the most extensive cookbook library within many miles) or a cook (this duplication allows me to plug our $5-or-less-cookbooks…our most-requested section of the store).

And music? From classic rock to classic jazz and everything in-between, on CD and vinyl. You say you want DVDs? We’ve got DVDs.

Buy what you need to buy on Friday, then treat yourself to the treasures you can find at Logos. We get new stuff EVERY day of the year.

We might even be able to help you shop for that aunt you barely know (she crochets all the doilies for Thanksgiving, that’s all I know about her); that nephew you never met (his mother posts facebook photos of him with his favorite stuffed animal…a crocodile?); your sister for whom you have run out of ideas (got anything for people who love The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam?); your niece who is putting herself through law school and studies while watching Kung Fu movies; your grandmother who never gets tired of reminding you that there has “never been anyone like Sinatra”; or your mate who is putting the finishing touches on a Beat library that’s 40 years in the making.

We actually have it all. Try us!

Opa! Logos celebrates its 40th!

There was so much good food!

“The Greek” restaurant played host to our Logos 40th Anniversary, and the food just kept coming (not to mention the wine!). Vasili and his wonderful staff outdid themselves; most people were shocked when the main course arrived, convinced that the hour or two of hearty appetizers was the spread. Anyway, it was the perfect place to celebrate the last 40 years and the next–well, who knows how many, but we certainly started off  well-fed into our 41st.

Here are photos from Debbie and Fran…

Logos Celebrates our 40th Anniversary!

On October 1, 1969, in a small shopfront on Cooper Street, Logos opened its doors.

If you search for “this day in history” not a whole lot happened; I mean, the opening of Logos was pretty much it! Santa Cruz was sleepy–especially downtown–more a retirement haven than whatever you might call it today. And it is fairly certain that no one at that time anticipated Logos being around long enough to start contemplating mid-life crises, or empty nest syndromes.

We have endured: earthquakes, floods, bad economies, rude clerks, nasty customers, amazon, bookstore-pretenders, street closures, thefts, embezzlers, music downloads, burning porta-potties (ok, that’s another story), the brussel sprouts processing plant, irreplaceable employees leaving, replaceable employees staying, kindles, the deprecation of intellectualism, disastrous economies, the devaluing of Pacific Avenue, inappropriate drumming, tweakers, stoners, drunks, and any number of people who got up on the wrong side of the bed and said to themselves: “I think I’ll go mess with the people at Logos today.”

We have also been (and continue to be) the beneficiaries of extreme customer loyalty, spectacular book and music collections, an unparalleled staff, a generous boss, ongoing enthusiasm for our own work, and a non-corporate workplace that–despite its kinks–proves that this is possible over a very long term.

One third of the staff has worked here more than 15 years; it is more than a job to most of us, a place where we can actually be excited, daily, by the items that pass over the buy desk; a place where friendships are made on both sides of the counter; a place where good food is shared (constantly) and the customer is just as likely to interrupt a conversation about remote viewing, bunnies, or the quality of Trader Joe’s Cabernets as they are to hear a recommendation on the latest fermentation cookbook, or a review of the upcoming Dylan Christmas album.

We are, despite some claims to the contrary, not a particularly rude bunch, although we all have our moments (OK, some more than others). We are a literate group, and taken as a whole have pretty broad interests and experiences. We try to be patient but tend to take insults personally (please don’t expect our attention if you are talking on a cellphone and trying to arrange a buy at the same time.) Some interactions completely throw us (“Do you have the Little Prince by Machiavelli?”). We want to help you, we really do.

We have stood in and been a part of this community for 40 years and hope that we can do it for a long time to come. Selling books and music is not what it was 40 years ago, but we are profoundly lucky in that we are still surrounded by quality: books, music, dvds, our staff, our boss, AND our customers…Thank you all for your support and patronage, and we look forward to seeing you in Year 41.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel recently wrote an article about Logos, you can read it on their website or by downloading a pdf of there article here.

Got Energy?

Blossoms in the Spring

Here’s an open secret: Logos is often one of the first places to display the work of local authors and publishers. For instance, Blossoms in the Spring: A Perfect Method of Qigong, is a collaborative effort between two locals: Narrye Caldwell, Traditional Chinese Medical Practitioner and Ted Mancuso, author and martial arts instructor. They both teach the art of Qigong and wanted to create a starting point for people really interested in this health and meditation practice.

Right now Qigong (chee-gung) is exploding on the scene with over fifty MILLION practitioners in Asia and millions more starting here in the West. But Qigong instruction, according to Ted, who has more than 40 years teaching martial arts, is not always top quality. “Sometimes it doesn’t actually make any sense. It can be misleading, promising super-human powers to people.” The truth about Qigong, according to him, is much simpler and more interesting. “Qigong allows you to view your own body, your own personal energy in a completely new way”.

Narrye Caldwell, an acupuncturist and instructor at Five Branches College, also teaches Qigong to aspiring Chinese-style doctors. “This lets people who are studying Chinese medicine actually feel Qi, one of the requirements of good doctoring in this field.”

The nice thing about the Blossoms in the Spring  Qigong is that it is not only faithful to the classical principles of Chinese Taoist Energetics but also simple to learn. This book should appeal to beginners wanting an easy entrance to Qigong, health practitioners in general wanting an additional discipline, teachers developing an energetics-based curriculum, and acupuncturists wanting to expand client services. It offers detailed instruction (with a handy arrangement of the photos so you always know where your are); sections on philosophy and basics; a large bibliography; excellent photography (from a member of the Logos staff); and more.

Ted and Narrye have  also scheduled a series of Blossoms in the Spring seminars for people who want the aid of a teacher. “These will be inexpensive three hours sessions in which you can learn the entire Blossoms and use the book as a reference.”

Blossoms in the Spring is from Plum Publications, a local martial arts/qigong publishing and distribution company. Their previous titles have become recognized classics in the field: Spring and Autumn of Chinese Martial Arts (by one of China’s top martial historians) and Lone Sword Against a Cold, Cold Sky by world famous instructor, Adam Hsu; both are available in Logos’ extensive martial arts collection. Blossoms in the Spring can be found near the front desk and in our Qigong section downstairs.

A related weblog has also just started up at http://www.blossomsinthespring.com/FirstFlowers

Now Available at Logos
Blossoms in the Spring
191 pages