Best Specialty Bookstore

Anonymous Place

In these neurotic times, there are twelve-step programs for every overindulgent behavior. And for more than a decade, the Anonymous Place in downtown Walnut Creek has been selling twelve-step literature by and for every kind of current and former addict, from alcoholics to shopaholics to overeaters to relationship addicts. There’s perhaps a slightly awkward relationship between the programs and retail outlets like the Anonymous Place. The Alcoholics Anonymous model eschews any outside financial relationships or affiliations, but as Karen from the Anonymous Place reasons, “People in recovery have to get their books somewhere.” But the Place does, for instance, encourage AA newcomers to buy the program bible affectionately referred to as “The Big Book” at meetings where it’s cheaper. The store also sells sobriety chips and other recovery-related trinkets.

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