Welcome to Bel Canto Books, a proudly woman- and POC- owned independent bookstore based in Long Beach, California!
Founded by Jhoanna Belfer, a Filipina-American poet and former hospitality executive, Bel Canto Books offers a curated selection of fiction, nonfiction and children's books, organized around a theme of the month, in particular celebrating books by women and people of color.
Please visit our Events & Classes page to learn about author events, workshops, Storytime and more!
Learn about our store- and community-led Book Clubs, including our Book Of The Month Club based on the theme of the month!
We offer a book concierge program called Books Go Mobile for personalized book recommendations,
as well as book ordering through our partners at Bookshop.org and Libro.fm. And please make sure you're signed up for our newsletter which has the latest on upcoming events, what we're reading and other fun book news.
If you'd like to be considered for an author event, either in-person or virtually, at Bel Canto Books, please complete our Event Inquiry Form.
We hope you stay safe and let's keep reading!
XXOO Jhoanna, Avowed Booknerd & Owner/Manager
Bel Canto Books started as a monthly pop-up book club in 2018 and moved into a brick-and-mortar space inside The Hangout (2122 E 4th Street in Long Beach) in November 2019.
We also host a pop-up bookstore inside Steel Cup Cafe (2201 N Lakewood Blvd in Long Beach) with our monthly bookclub picks and our featured books of the month.
See what's in stock for local pickup by clicking the link below.
Melissa Carpenter, head of The Hangout, our shop collective in Long Beach, was interviewed in the store by Spectrum News 1 in advance of Small Business Saturday! One of our favorite customers, local educator and activist Ebony Murphy-Root, was also asked about why she shops local, and we got to make a brief cameo!
Coverage of our #StandUpForAAPI awareness and action campaign, created
in response to the March 16th Atlanta-area shootings of 8 people, including
6 Asian women, and the escalating violence against Asians in the US:
Image credit: @travelling.the.pages
Local writer Kayla Vokolek interviewed us, along with 3 other LA-based bookstores, about the impact of COVID-19 on our small businesses.
She highlighted the new #BoxedOut campaign by the American Booksellers Association to draw awareness to the plight of independent bookstores
around the country as we compete with online retail giants and big box stores.
We were thrilled and honored to be featured on VoyageLA.com, as one of their "LA's Most Inspiring Stories." Their mission is "to build a platform that fosters collaboration and support for small businesses, independent artists
and entrepreneurs, local institutions and those that make our city interesting. We want to change the way people spend their money – rather than spending it with the big, cookie-cutter corporations we want them to spend their money with the independent, creative, local entrepreneurs, small businesses and artists." Who doesn't love this?
A huge thank you to Long Beach writer and bookstore friend
Nancy Lynee Woo for our interview for The Hi-Lo, "a brand new arts,
culture and lifestyle vertical from the Long Beach Post that tells you
what to do, eat, hear, see and experience in the LBC."
Thank you to our friends at Shelf Awareness, which offers a "daily dose of enlightenment for the book trade," for covering our grand opening announcement back in November 2019!
It all starts with a story…how a great book captivates and enlivens us, how the fairytales our families share spark our sense of wonder and love of creativity, how we first learn to explore and dream and fly in the pages of our favorite books.
Our mission at Bel Canto Books is to foster joy, creativity and curiosity, one book, one connection at a time. As a BIPOC-owned bookstore, we take special pride in uplifting the work of historically marginalized authors and artists.
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on upcoming events, what we're reading now,
and our journey as a small business owner!