Building a better bookstore

KAPAA — It has been said that happiness is a cup of coffee and a really good book. Anni Caporuscio would be the first to agree.

Caporuscio is both a co-owner of Small Town Coffee Co. and the owner of Blue House Booksellers, one of just two bookstores on Kauai and the only on the island’s Eastside.

Blue House was established in 2011, just after Borders vanished from the island. Small Town had just moved into its current location, and an extra room in the shop called for attention.

“A bookstore sounded so much cooler than a dry storage room,” Caporuscio recalled.

The bookstore remained there for two years — coffee and novels side-by-side.

In August, Blue House got a major facelift when it moved from the cramped space inside Small Town to a 720-square-foot location on the second floor of the Dragon Building in Old Kapaa Town.

Today, coffee and books are kept at a distance, separated by a half mile of Kuhio Highway. That’s OK because while books are paper-based, coffee tends to be extremely wet, says Caporuscio.

“A myriad of things can go wrong.”

While the new location doesn’t come with the delicious smell of coffee and scones, it does offer a variety of new releases, Kauai authors, guidebooks, beach reads, classics, greeting cards, children’s books and art supplies.

“Our two biggest sections are contemporary fiction and a massive kids selection,” Caporuscio said.

For those looking for something with a little extra punch, Blue House is home to sections dedicated to combat and conspiracy theories.

Blue House is all about creativity, ideas and getting smarter every day, the old fashioned way.

When asked if she is an avid reader, Caporuscio said, “Oh, I’m ridiculous.”

Caporuscio has always loved to read, which she says is made even better with a piping hot cup of Joe or a frosty pint of beer. She has even been known to put books inside other books to fool others about what she is reading, as well as rip the cover off science fiction books to imagine it without an artist rendition.

Today, Caporuscio is in-between reads, having just finished “Heyday,” a novel by Kurt Andersen.

This coffee-loving book worm loved all 622 pages and is currently mourning the novel’s conclusion, unable to start her next paperback adventure.

As for her favorite of all time — “Shadow Country,” by Peter Matthiessen.

While others may say that a used book store is a dying breed, Caporuscio believes a “community book store serves a larger purpose.”

In addition to sales, Blue House will soon offer free children’s reading hour every Wednesday at 10 a.m. The first is slated for Oct. 16.

On Wednesday evenings, a local screenwriter will begin teaching writing classes. And every First Saturday during the Kapaa Art Walk, Blue House will host Kauai authors to talk about their work and sign copies.

As for future plans, Caporuscio is shooting for a second writing class, an art class, an adult reading hour and to begin hosting book clubs.

Less than two months in at the new location, business is picking up.

“We’re getting the word out slowly,” Caporuscio said. “I learn a little bit every day.”

Blue House Booksellers is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and at 4504 Kukui Street, Suite 7, in Kapaa.

For more information call 822-4111 or visit


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.