By VINCE REMBULAT
STOCKTON — Perhaps the word that best describes Phong To’s Miracle Mile Bookstore is ‘eclectic.’
He’s the owner and operator of the business located at 2210 Pacific Ave. in the heart of Stockton’s historic Miracle Mile.
For those looking for exact titles – good luck.
“We’re not that type of book store,” said To, who opened the place some six years ago. “We’re anti-data base.”
In other words, the Miracle Mile Bookstore is ideal for those who enjoy browsing.
And it’s not just books.
Along the aisle of used books – ranging from classic literature to Western or Eastern religion – To offers up a variety of DVDs, CDs, jewelry, art and other miscellaneous items (for example, a couple of vinyl record albums including the Beatles along Talking Heads were up for grabs).
“Our clientele is unique,” he added.
To had one such person who recently happened along his Miracle Mile Bookstore only to discover a treasure trove of items.
The shopper picked up more than what she intended to purchase, including some special interest books along the fully stocked shelves.
He’s also received some glowing online responses.
“This place is really great,” said Lyly of Stockton. “They have a lot of classics and the books are somewhat organized by genres.”
Susan, who is also from Stockton, noted a “thrift store vibe” during her visit to the Miracle Mile Bookstore.
“The prices are fantastic and the selections are unbelievable,’ she said. “I always check her for a book I’m looking for first before paying retail.”
While the business hours are listed daily from noon to 6 p.m., Phong To has been known to be more than generous with his time.
That’s great for the browser, who can peruse through the selection of books and other items at a leisurely pace.
To initially opened the book store in Stockton’s quaint Yosemite Village near the Blackwater Café.
He later relocated to his present space on the Miracle Mile, where there’s plenty of foot traffic along with a diversity of regular folks.
To, who attended the nearby University of the Pacific, has hopes of someday going into teaching, in particular, English Literature.
“I’d like to see a non-profit group or organization take over (the Miracle Mile Bookstore),” he said. “I’d still like to work here two to three times a week.”
For more information, call 209-623-8653.