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For 56 years, Kepler's Books has been one of the nation’s premier independent bookstores, famous for its outstanding author events, knowledgeable staff, and its broad selection of books, magazines and gifts. Its commitment to the local communities it serves has helped define the cultural identity of the Menlo Park, Atherton, Palo Alto, Redwood City and other San Francisco Bay Area communities that have seen such exceptional growth in the past five-and-a-half decades.
Kepler's was founded in May 1955 by peace activist Roy Kepler. The store soon blossomed into the cultural epicenter it has always remained. It attracted loyal customers from the students and faculty of Stanford University and from other members of the surrounding communities who were interested in serious books and ideas. The Grateful Dead gave live shows there early in their career, and they, along with folk singer Joan Baez, often appeared at Kepler’s sharing ideas at the bookstore with local community leaders.
In 1980, Roy’s son, Clark Kepler, took over the management of the bookstore. Kepler's evolved along with the local community, and in 1989 moved to Menlo Center on El Camino Real, literally at the heart of Menlo Park. As a community hub with varied, high-caliber author events, the bookstore attracted many bestselling writers, local authors and national leaders. Kepler’s was known for the breadth and depth of its inventory, often carrying books that were hard to find elsewhere, and for the talent of its buyers to choose to showcase books that would later become “sleeper” national bestsellers. Kepler's stood apart from its competitors.
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