Geophysicist left job to open bookstore on Kauai

KAPAA, Kauai (KHON2) — If you drive too fast on Kuhio Highway on Kaua’i, you just might miss this little red house called The Womb Bookstore. This self-called indie bookstore sells tarot cards, crystals, local artwork, and of course, books.

It’s nestled right by Eat Healthy Kaua’i and Wild Kaua’i Chocolate. The Womb Bookstore is a Black-owned, woman-owned, indie bookstore that opened its doors on Oct. 31, 2020, during the middle of the pandemic. Keri Cooks, the owner, said she quit her job as a geophysicist in the oil and gas industry with plans of taking a year off.

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“When the pandemic hit, I felt like my opportunity for a new life was slipping away, and the time was now to create my new beginning,” said Cooks. “That is what The Womb Bookstore is for me: a new beginning and a chance to live life on my own terms.”

Courtesy: Ember Bethany Bailey

Cooks said it’s called The Womb due to the energy of the space that provides visitors the opportunity to explore the unknown. This bookstore offers tarot cards, books about trees and nature, and books to better know yourself.

“As babies we come into the world as a completely blank slate. We learn everything from how to talk, how to walk,” said Cooks. “That education continues for the rest of our lives. We learn how to write, drive a car, do calculations. Somewhere along the line, we get busy, life happens, and we forget about the joys of learning.”

The Womb Bookstore gives people the opportunity to return to that sense of curiosity and read about philosophy, discover their inner artist and share that aspect of themselves during poetry night or other events they have.

This bookstore offers different events for the community to come out and become engaged. Some popular activities are their book club, Discussions After Dark and their art workshops.

Courtesy: Sean Cubar

Their book club meets every week on Sunday at 6 pm to discuss a different book every month. In May, The Womb will be reading “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens.

“Book club is a fun place to meet other book lovers and have an engaging conversation at the same time,” said Cooks. “Our book club consists of all ages and backgrounds, and my favorite thing to do is hear everyone’s differing perspectives on the book we’re reading.”

Discussions After Dark is monthly on a Wednesday night at 7 pm Cooks said if you ever read a book that you loved so much that you wanted to deeply discuss it with others, then this place is for you. She said she takes her from her favorite self-help or wisdom book and gives candid information on how it has helped her. This month’s book is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Lastly, she offers Paint Your Emotions Art Workshops which are done in conjunction with a resident artist Chelsea Januszewski.

Courtesy: Keri Cooks

“We put on music, load up with paint supplies like spray paint, watercolors, pastels, and we let our emotions out on the canvas,” said Cooks. “The classes can be highly therapeutic and fun because there are no rules involved. We even use things found in nature like leaves, mushrooms, and flowers as our paintbrushes.”

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For more information about this gem of a bookstore or to sign up for one of their many events, visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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