Rudd has to clear out Bank of Books by the end of the month. Photo by Patricia Schallert
It was in June 1974. that Clarey Rudd, age 22, first opened a bookstore in Ventura called Rudds. A second store for the family business. He grew up working in his parents’ bookstore in Oxnard. During Rudd’s time at CSUF, he was invited by the owner to work at one of the largest independent bookstores in the nation. A year later, after his Junior year at Biola University, he became manager of their bookstore. Being part of the staff, he had to complete his marketing and management degree back at CSUF. At that time, he decided he was going to open a bookstore in Ventura.
The family bookstores expanded to Ventura, Camarillo and Santa Paula. When his dad had an accident, he became responsible for the Ventura and Santa Paula bookstores. He then expanded to Thousand Oaks, Santa Barbara and Bellflower. He did workshops and wrote for a trade magazine.
All of the family bookstores had been sold and Clarey bought Second Time Around bookstore in downtown Ventura. Rooted in 60 years of downtown Ventura’s history, he sold on the internet and became a vendor with Amazon. Second Time Around was renamed Bank of Books. Part of the books are from the 1700’s and 1800’s with many originally signed books.
Clarey became the founding chairman of the Downtown Ventura Organization (DVO) overseeing the goals of downtown Ventura. Bank of Books became a famous International Bookstore getting world travelers to the bookstore to buy books. Bank of Books has been voted number 1 independent bookstore for 19 years.
Sir Anthony Hopkins wrote “best bookstore I have ever been in, and I am a book geek” Over the years 300,000 books have been given away. Rudd has served on the International Board of Mission without Border for 32 years and ran for city council in 2021. Clarey organized all of the independent bookstores in Ventura to seek city council to declare Ventura an international book city.
Recently, Rudd expanded to Santa Paula which would have made three bookstores except for the unfortunate closing of Bank of Books due to a severe rent increase.
Rudd has to clear out Bank of Books by the end of the month. He and the bookstore are Ventura icons, and he has done a lot for this community. Please go to Bank of Books and buy some books for 60-90% off before they close and be sure to visit Abednego and Bank of Books Santa Paula.
Bank of Books is located at 748 E. Main.