By Tiffany Etterling

While the rest of the country was preparing for the first wave of winter storms, I spent most of this past weekend relaxing in the back yard, reading, and watching my kids play in the warm sun.

In the Garden of the BeastsI have to admit, I suffer from a severe, self-diagnosed fiction addiction. I know that fiction is the junk-food of the literary world, but I just can’t help myself. That being said, I’m completely captivated right now by Erik Larson’s latest non-fiction: In the Garden of the Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin.

There aren’t many things that I enjoy more than sitting outside with a great book. According to the results of our September Reader’s Survey, I’m not the only one!

Based on our survey results, 89 percent of our readers currently enjoy reading as a regular hobby. Reading is more popular than any other hobby on our survey.

Since you love reading as much as I do, I want to share five reasons why Las Cruces is a great place to feed my fiction (and occasionally non-fiction) addiction!

#1. Coas Bookstore

Do you remember the scene in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast where the Beast takes Belle into the castle library? Well, that is how I felt the first time I walked into Coas Bookstore.

Maybe it’s not a castle, but Coas Bookstore is a reader’s wonderland.

The store’s main location is in the heart of Downtown Las Cruces at 317 N. Main St. The store doesn’t look like much from the outside. In a world of shiny Barnes & Noble stores with high-priced coffee, you might be tempted to pass by… That is until a book title in a window display catches your eye. Then, once you enter the store, you’ll be hooked.

Whether it’s a signed first-edition copy of your favorite book, an out-of-print or hard to find title, or a book you’ve never heard of, Coas has treasures for every book lover just waiting to be found. Coas has a section for almost every topic: fiction, cooking, biographies, astronomy, business, health – pretty much anything you can think of!

Coas is where I found Markus Zusak’s riveting The Book Thief, an entire collection of hilarious Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich, and so many more.

Coas has two Las Cruces bookstore locations offering customers new, rare, used and out-of-print books at rock-bottom prices. Not only that, but the stores boast one of the largest used book inventory in the Southwest – more than 450,000 books in-stock! Plus they also buy, sell and trade books, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, audio books, records, maps, games and more.

The best part is that when you’re finished with a book, you can bring it back to receive store credit toward your next purchase!

Next time you’re in Las Cruces, make sure to take a trip to Coas Bookstore!

#2. Barnes and Noble Bookstore at NMSU

barnes and noble cafe at NMSUIf you didn’t find exactly what you were looking for at Coas Bookstore, you might want to head over to the Barnes & Noble Bookstore at New Mexico State University (NMSU). The bookstore, which opened this past summer (2011), is a beautiful new addition to the NMSU campus.

The new, two-story bookstore features a full line of NMSU gear, a variety of both education and non-education book titles, and a Barnes & Noble Cafe. It’s a beautiful facility with a pleasant atmosphere in a college setting; a great place for students and non-students alike to escape and enjoy a good book.

#3. Clubs & Educational Resources

Education is one of the cornerstones of the Las Cruces community. New Mexico State University, Dona Ana Branch Community College and the City of Las Cruces together provide outstanding resources for the book enthusiasts and education lovers in the area.

Here are some of the great resources avid readers can enjoy in Las Cruces:

  • Numerous clubs and organizations for both readers and writers
  • Continuing education classes through Dona Ana Branch Community College Community Education program
  • Clubs and events for readers of all ages through the Branigan Public Library
  • Book signings and meet-the-author events at Branigan Library and Coas Bookstore
  • Free Books by Mail program through Branigan Library
  • Lecture series and other education events through NMSU
  • Numerous other Bookstores with events and reading groups

#4. Experience History First Hand

The Shooters by Leon Claire MetzLas Cruces has a rich cultural and historical heritage that book lovers can see first hand.

Las Cruces has seen the like of notable figures, such as Geronimo, Victorio, Albert Fall and the discoverer of Pluto, the late Clyde Tombaugh. But none are more notorious than the infamous William H. Bonney, a.k.a., Billy the Kid.

Billy the Kid visited the Las Cruces area many times. On his final visit he stood trial in a Mesilla, NM courtroom for the murder of Andrew “Buckshot” Roberts. He was found guilty and sentenced to hang by Judge Warren Bristol. During his sentencing, Judge Bristol told Billy he was to be hung “until you are dead, dead, dead!” According to the legend, Billy shouted back, “And you can go to hell, hell, hell!”

He was taken to Lincoln, NM, where he escaped and was later shot and killed by Lincoln County Sheriff Pat Garrett in 1881.

Today you can read the real story The Kid and other Wild West Outlaws in books like The Shooters by historian Leon Claire Metz. Then visit the actual building in Mesilla that housed the jail and courtroom where Billy the Kid was tried.

#5. Weather

reading outside in Las Cruces NMReading is one of those hobbies that you can enjoy year-round, no matter what the weather is like outside. But why get stuck reading indoors during the dreary days of winter when you can be outside soaking up the sun?

Las Cruces is one of the few places I know of where you can enjoy a good book outdoors year-round. As we mentioned in our August newsletter, studies show that being outdoors can improve your health. It’s good to know that I can improve my health as I feed my fiction addiction just by reading outdoors!

Whether you’re addicted to fiction, like me, or love a great non-fiction selection, Las Cruces is a great place for book lovers of all ages.

Contact us today at 575-523-2500 to find why Picacho Mountain is the best place to buy your dream home.



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