Old Capitol Books
559 Tyler St., Monterey (831) 333-0383, oldcapitolbooks.com
Yes, Old Capitol Books has an excellent and ever-changing selection of books, ranging from popular to esoteric, academic to practical. But what makes this place truly stand out is that it’s more than a bookstore: It’s a community institution, with a rotation of literary events and other gatherings, many with a social justice theme. In recent memory, there’ve been poetry readings, LGBTQ+ speed dating, live music featuring local singer/songwriters, a discussion about the existential works of Jean-Paul Sartre. Peruse the shelves to feel smarter, or stay for one of these events and get smarter.