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Boonville’s Booklovers Bonanza

Right in the heart of downtown Boonville is a jewel hidden in plain sight. If you are a lover of books this is one jewel you must discover for yourself. Park next door to Boont Berry and walk back into the intriguing tunnel of train cars. (Yes, train cars in Boonville). When you get to train car #3 make a quick right and enter.

It is kind of like falling down a rabbit hole. It is also like one of those funny dreams where you hear yourself describing, “It was so weird, I walked inside this store but it seemed like it was some kind of a train car. When I got inside there were books everywhere almost up to the ceiling stacked in precarious piles. From behind the stacks came this warm and inviting voice. Peeking behind the books I found the mistress presiding over this mysterious place- Dawn Ballantine. She greeted me while smiling with both were mouth and eyes.” I have read more than one fantasy book that started out similarly. Welcome to Boonville’s tiny bookshop and copy center “Hedgehog Books.”

I make it a habit to fall down this particular rabbit hole regularly once a week on my way home from a Thursday job in Philo. Dawn always greets me and helps me look for anything she has gathered in my own favorite category “armchair travel” since my previous visit. She NEVER disappoints and I never leave her shop without a book or two or three or four. When she tallies up the total I always have to say, “Come on Dawn, don’t cheat yourself”. By the time she gets done with all her special discounts for locals, people wearing blue, and that’s too expensive etc. The price for four books is about what I’d pay for one new book in Ukiah. Some of her books are used and some are new- all in good condition. What a pleasure, what a treat. A new (to me) book and a tasty treat from either Boont Berry or the Redwood Café or The Disco Ranch and I am in heaven for a half hour “time out” that can’t be beat.

I went to Dawn’s website to see what she had to say about herself. It must told that I asked to interview her for this article but she said she was too shy.  Her description;

“Hedgehog Books offers a diverse selection of quality used books (and some new) at affordable prices (I’ll say) for all ages and interests including graphic novels, audio books, puzzle books, crafts and games. Copy, print, fax, scan and lamination services.We will find and purchase books for you used or new hardback or paperback non-Amazon sources preferred. Shipping at cost, special orders at cost. We take some books for trade $1 per book. Making your love of books affordable again! Look for books on Cooking, Arts and Crafts, Do-It-Yourself, early readers, middle grade readers, farm and garden, fiction, general non-fiction, graphic novels, history/memoir, mystery, poetry, science/nature, Spanish language, special editions, speculative fiction and young adult.” Also she always has board games really cheap out on the porch in front of her shop (unless it’s raining). If you remember Leslie Hummel and All That Good Stuff, in some ways Dawn has picked up where Leslie left off.

To learn more about this wonderful local resource for Booklovers (stocked with over 8000 titles) and those that love booklovers type Hedgehog Books Boonville CA into your Internet browser. If you tap the menu icon (two horizontal lines) in the upper right corner of her homepage you can choose “Browse Inventory” to see all her categories (take Cooking for example) and if you tap on cooking and it will take you a list of cooking books she has on hand. You can also tap on “Other Services” including Dawn’s bookkeeping and business services including copyediting, proofreading and research services. Tap on “About” to learn “Hedgehog Books opened in June 2018. We focus on diverse books offering a wide frame of reference for our big and complex world. We particularly like to encourage a love of reading in children and young people, with the understanding that wide reading makes better thinkers of us all. We cover most genres and currently have more than 8000 titles in stock. We are happy to special order and we ship books worldwide. Hedgehog book is a special space, which packs a book-ish punch in a small-ish space. Bonus if you’re a fan of train cars! 

Come on by. 13975 Hwy 128 Boonville 95415. Hours Mon-Wed, 10:30-5:00 and Thurs.-Fri 12:30-5:00.


  1. George Dorner April 9, 2022

    If you ever get up to Willits, The Book Juggler has been in business for 35 years and has 80,000 used books in stock.

    • Bruce Anderson April 9, 2022

      I always stop in there when I’m in Willits. It’s a gold mine, and not many like it left, if any.

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