Walkabout Books is an antiquarian bookstore located in Laguna Hills (Orange County), California. We specialize in Americana (including California and the West) and the literature of travel and adventure, including travel narratives, travel and tourism ephemera (travel diaries, vintage brochures, guidebooks, etc), exploration (any continent), mountaineering, and other outdoor pursuits. We also carry fine books in other fields--including literature, art and architecture, natural history, and history of science and technology--and buy and sell manuscripts and archives. We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) and the Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA). We are always interested in purchasing collections or individual books of value (click on the Services link at the top of the page for more information).
Owner Elizabeth Svendsen has been selling books professionally for 15 years. After starting out as an online seller, she established a brick and mortar used bookstore (Blue Jacket Books in Xenia, Ohio) in 2006. Five years later, she sold that business to devote more time to the antiquarian and collectible side of the book trade, founding Walkabout Books in 2011. In 2013, she moved the business to southern California. Being both an enthusiastic traveler and an inveterate armchair adventurer, she has focused on the literature of travel and adventure of all kinds. She is particularly drawn to tales of wilderness survival, solo sailing, and climbing perilous peaks, as well as books about the exploration of Africa, South America, the American West, and Alaska. She is also a history buff (and thus an enthusiastic cataloger of historical archives), with a particular interest in quirky 19th century Americana (new religious movements, health crazes, traveling entertainers, cons and frauds, etc).
Elizabeth has a master's degree in History from Princeton University and another in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University, and has worked as a social science writer and editor and as a parole officer, among other things. She is the co-author (with her father Allan Kronzek) of the New York Times Bestseller The Sorcerer's Companion, A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, an encyclopedic guide to the real history, mythology, and folklore behind the popular series.
Part-time Cataloger Jessica Krill has a bachelor’s degree in Art History from UC Irvine and a master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences from San Jose State University. She began her work experience in web design before moving to a variety of customer service positions. Since obtaining her MLIS she has worked for libraries within a museum, a Catholic school, and a university. Jessica enjoys collecting modern first editions from her favorite authors and vinyl records. She enjoys reading diverse genres including the stranger side of modern fiction, music history and criticism, gender and sexuality studies, art history and criticism, and anthropology. In her spare time she enjoys attending concerts, traveling, and exploring new places.
Walkabout Books In the News:
Fine Books Magazine August 2012: Bright Young Things AE Monthly, January 2013: New Blood in an Old Trade And, if you really have a lot of time on your hands, here's a video interview (and you can watch interviews many other ABAA booksellers here, too): ABAA Video Archive