After 15 years of holding  steady to the  course of owning and running an independent bookstore in a small town, Kathy Lancaster has turned over the helm of Village Books in downtown Mount Shasta to new owners Kim and Tony Padilla.

After 15 years of holding  steady to the  course of owning and running an independent bookstore in a small town, Kathy Lancaster has turned over the helm of Village Books in downtown Mount Shasta to new owners Kim and Tony Padilla.
Continuing the tradition of Village Books was Lancaster’s first concern when she decided to sell the store several months ago.
“The change of ownership transition has been as smooth as can be. I wanted to keep the store  ‘in the family’ so there wouldn’t be any disruptions for our loyal customers,” Lancaster said. “Fortunately Kim and her husband Tony stepped up to make it happen. Kim has worked here for eight years and is like part of the family. She is a life long resident of Mount Shasta having been born and raised here. The Village Books tradition is going to continue onward.”
The Padillas have assured everyone that the same level of outstanding customer service initiated by Lancaster over the years will be the same. All of the current customer benefits and programs are going to remain in place.
“Our intention is to make  improvements wherever possible in the operation of the store. Special orders will be given priority,” Kim said. “We have 12,000 books inside the store and access to 1.5 million more books that we can get within a couple of days for our customers. We are also looking to expand the espresso bar and baked goods section. It makes for a great combination to offer books and our specialty cookies together. We’re really looking forward to serving the community with Village Books.”
Officially, the change of  Village Books ownership is scheduled to take place on July 1. And both Lancaster and Padilla indicated that even the store mascot, Bodhi (Lancaster’s Black Lab), would continue to make an occasional cameo appearance at the store.
“From the beginning it’s been a labor of love. Books have always been my passion and the store carried me along as much as anything,” Lancaster said. “At times I felt like I was the bowsprit on a ship out at sea that was destined to continue on regardless of the changing winds in the book and publishing industry. As an independent bookstore it’s all about making transitions and adjusting to change while staying the course. We have been blessed during this leg of the Village Books voyage and now it’s going to be up to Kim and Tony to sail on.”
Book lover and student Chandra Hall said books play an important role in her life. “Whenever I can I like to visit Village Books. It makes me feel good to know that there are people who really care about books that can answer questions. The staff is really helpful and knowledgeable. I’m glad the store is here for everyone.”
Long time Village Books customer Doug Carter said, “There is something very reassuring about bookstores in general and Village Books specifically that provides a community with a touchstone. And Village Books has served served that purpose as an informal community center in Mount Shasta for residents and visitors. We’re really fortunate that Kathy followed her vision and that Kim is taking over in what should be a seamless transition.”
The Padillas are planning on extending the Village Books business hours in the evenings again starting on July 1. The store will also be the exclusive source for Kim’s delectable cookies and other baked goods.