New Berkeley bookstore takes root

The big green ampersand on the counter at Mrs. Dalloway’s Literary & Garden Arts speaks volumes. The Berkeley bookshop is all about combinations.

Opened last October, Mrs. Dalloway’s mixes the passions of its two proprietors: Marion Abbott Bundy stocks about 60 percent of the shelves with serious literature (including Virginia Woolf, of course), poetry, biographies, histories, and political titles. Ann Leyhe’s stacks hold hands-on and coffee-table books on gardening in the Bay Area’s climate. Cookbooks and children’s books round out the mix.

The decor blends indoors and outdoors too. East-facing windows and doors admit ample sunlight and fresh air. Red wicker chairs and decidedly happy plants complement cream-colored walls and high ceilings. A greenhouse, slate floors, and sea grass carpeting complete the al fresco look of the interior.

The shop is organic to the surrounding Elmwood District, where the owners have lived for decades. “Our selections reflect the neighborhood,” Bundy says. “We have our roots here.” — FRED SANDSMARK

Mrs. Dalloway’s Literary & Garden Arts (10–6 Mon–Wed; 10–8 Thur–Sat; 12–5 Sun; 2904 College Ave., Berkeley; or 510/704-8222).

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