by Raven West
You could say that Julie Phipps Moore’s love affair with books began before she was born. Her parents, Fred and Doris Phipps, were both teachers who met at Central State University in Edmond, Oklahoma. After they married, the family moved to California where Doris worked for 30 years as an elementary school teacher and reading specialist at Somis School. In 1997, she was honored as Teacher of the Year.
“I remembered as a child getting rewards from school and my parents would take me and my brothers, Robert and Brad, to the hobby store, and I would go to the Bookworm,” Julie recalled. “Mary Littell was the owner at that time and the store was located on the boulevard. Going into the store and being able to pick up a book and take it home was my favorite thing in the world!”
Julie has always been an avid reader. Many nights her parents would come into her bedroom and find her hiding under her covers with a flashlight and a book!
As an adult, Julie’s passion for books grew even stronger. When her children were little, she joined the Mom’s Club of Camarillo and from those members, ten women created a monthly book club which continues to this day.
Following in her parent’s footsteps, Julie graduated from Cal Poly SLO with a bachelor’s degree in English, earned her secondary teaching credential and taught Junior High English for ten years. Today, she teaches third grade at Richard Bard Elementary School in Port Hueneme, as fate would have it, was how she came to own The Bookworm.
“We had a baby shower for one of the teachers and we were talking to the pregnant woman who was saying she’d like something for her older child and I thought wouldn’t it be nice to buy a book?” Julie recalled. “So of course I came here. At the time was called Mrs. Figs Bookworm and Connie Halpern, the owner and I started talking about the future of the bookstore. I knew she had the business on the market and had a buyer, but she told me the sale had fallen through, so I started thinking that buying the store would be a great idea. Another factor that influenced my decision was, in 2017 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I think that health scare made me brave enough to follow my dream.”
Even with so many large chain bookstores closing and eBooks becoming more popular, Julie never questioned her decision to keep the brick and mortar book store open to provide a cozy niche for the Camarillo community. Julie loves the intimacy of the store and plans to keep the atmosphere pretty much the same as the previous owner, other than being a bit more organized.
“It’s just one of those things that will make it easier when I’m helping people if I can point them to exactly what they’re looking for!” she said.
In addition to nationally known authors, The Bookworm also features a “local authors” section where customers can find autographed books by local authors including;
Julie and Ken have two daughters; Melissa who is in the 11th grade and Tracy who is continuing her family’s legacy by majoring in English at CSUN Channel Islands with a minor in creative writing. One day Julie hope to have one of Tracy’s best-selling novels on display in the front window of The Bookworm.
We can’t wait!
The Bookworm is located in the Las Posas Plaza Shopping Center, 93 E Daily Drive in Camarillo.
Storytime on Tuesdays at 1 – 1:30 pm
For more information, please call (805) 482-1384
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views and the opinions of any other persons, institutions, companies or organizations I am are affiliated with and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.
Raven West is a free-lance writer and published author who has lived in Ventura County for more than twenty years. She has an extensive knowledge of local wineries from Thousand Oaks to Ojai and will be covering special events which take place at the tasting rooms throughout the year.Named in the TOP 50 Authors by Authorsdb.com