Seaside Stories

Read These Oregon Coast Page-Turners

October 31, 2018 | by Shellie Bailey-Shah

A good book and the beach — there may be no better combination. Opened in 2005, Beach Books is a local institution where you can pick up breezy reads. But this indie store stocks more than bestsellers.  

Shop owner Karen Emmerling shared with us her favorite picks for Oregon Coast-themed page-turners. These selections are perfect for the curious traveler looking to get a better sense of the natural environs and the area’s riveting history.

 Emmerling’s first three recommendations are all written by the same author, Bonnie Henderson. Henderson, a former editor for Sunset magazine, lives in Eugene but spends much of her time along the Oregon Coast. She’s active with the North Coast Land Conservancy and also writes interpretative signage for parks and wildlife refuges.  

In her book “Strand: An Odyssey of Pacific Ocean Debris,” Henderson traces the stories of trash washed up along the Oregon Coast to places as far away as Shenzhen, China and Hokkaido, Japan. 

In “The Next Tsunami: Living on a Restless Coast,” Henderson looks at the people who study tsunamis and the science behind past events and inevitable future events that will one day slam the Oregon Coast. “It’s an important book for anyone who lives here or visits the area,” says Emmerling.

Emmerling also recommends Henderson’s guide “Day Hiking: Oregon Coast.” The book details 92 hikes easily accessible from Highway 101, including several around Seaside.

Another good guide for would-be hikers? Emmerling recommends picking up “Exploring the Oregon Coast Trail” by Connie Soper, which includes a comprehensive trail map with details on day sections along with the history of Oregon’s open beach laws. 

If you’re a history buff, Emmerling points to Tillamook Rock Lighthouse: History and Tales of Terrible Tilly” by Brian Ratty. It’s the story of those who built the lighthouse near Seaside, those who manned it, and those who paid the ultimate price to keep the beacon burning.

Finally, for fans of fiction, Emmerling suggests “A Thousand Summers” by local author Honey Perkel. It’s a novel set in Seaside with lots of coastal favorites that you’re bound to recognize.

Lit Events: Writers across genres come to Seaside every winter for the Pacific University Residence Writers Conference (January 10 through 20). Beach Books also hosts occasional author events, readings and more.

and so much more!

COVID: What to Expect at the Beach and on the Prom

Seaside’s wide-open sandy shoreline has been a favorite playground for generations of visitors. As you plan your next trip, you ...

Learn More
The Quieter Side of Seaside

Seaside without the bustle of Broadway Street? If that sounds more like your speed, I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to...

Learn More
The Daddy Train

The Seaside train depot was the major transportation hub before 1938.

Learn More
A Kid-Free Couple’s Getaway

We know kids love Seaside. And Seaside loves kids. But you can, of course, enjoy Seaside without the youngsters in tow. Whether yo...

Learn More
Episode Three: the Seaside Aquarium

Take the audio walking tour of Seaside

Learn More
MotorHome Magazine: Sea to River, Oregon’s Spectacular North Coast

Bobbie Hasselbring from MotorHome magazine attended a media Fam (Familiarization) Tour hosted by the City of Seaside Visitors Bure...

Learn More
Snail Mail: the Agony & the Ecstasy

Snail mail in Seaside circa 1909.

Learn More
Guide to Spring Events in Seaside

If you think Seaside is simply a summertime destination, get ready to adjust your mindset! Seaside offers something for all visito...

Learn More
Biking the N. Coast Mountain Range

Opportunities endless when hopping on two wheels to navigate Seaside area

Learn More
What The Oregon Coast Can Teach You From Home

The Oregon Coast is a dynamic, ever-changing place that sparks both imagination and curiosity. While you may not be able to visit ...

Learn More
Seaside Elk

I was driving into Seaside, along Highway 101 South, and had just passed the Circle Creek Campsite on the left, when I noticed several cars parked off the side of the road.

Learn More
Antiquing in Seaside

Antique shopping in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
Elevated View

The highest point in Seaside, Oregon in the 1920s.

Learn More
All About Storm Watching in Seaside

Having grown up in Seaside, Keith Chandler knows and appreciates the beauty and the power of watching storms and high tides on the...

Learn More
Seaside Skatepark

The Seaside Skatepark (also called the PTR “Hometown Park”) has a unique history. It was opened in June of 2007, and was built by Placed to Ride. The owner of Placed to Ride, Stefan Hauser, lives here in Seaside.

Learn More
The Columbia River Maritime Museum: On the Water’s Edge

A visit to the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria.

Learn More
Gayway Park in the early 1960s

Gayway Park in the 1960s was a major family attraction in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More