The Book Works’ owner opens up

Lisa Stefanacci grew up on the East Coast. She has a master’s degree in psychology from New York University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCSD. Her research interests include the link between brain function and behavior, and she has published a number of peer-reviewed articles on this topic in scientific journals.

Stefanacci bought The Book Works on March 3, 2006. She brought with her a passion for reading and for sharing knowledge with her customers and the community.

What brought you to Del Mar?

I lived in a condo in Del Mar in the early 1990s until my husband and I found a darling house in Leucadia. After a few years, we outgrew the house and fell in love with a home in Del Mar. It’s very non-fussy. My husband calls it “upscale ramshackle.”

What keeps you in Del Mar?

The Book Works, our home and location, location, location.

If you could improve one thing in Del Mar, what would it be?

I’d vaporize the Barnes & Noble bookstore that lies between The Book Works and Carmel Valley.

When did your love for books begin?

When I was a child. I read books and watched television. When I was growing up, there weren’t as many TV channels, so when the reruns got boring (this happened quite often), I read.

What is something that most people don’t know about The Book Works?

The Book Works was named one of the sexiest features of Del Mar for our “smart, sexy Book Works employees” (San Diego Magazine). Also, we can special order books and get them in just a couple of days - our sources are exactly the same as the bigger stores. And also, the taxes we collect from sales go directly back into the local community, unlike many big box and online stores.

Describe a day in the life of a bookstore owner?

At home: Get coffee. Respond to e-mails and read the news from bookselling/publishing sites. At the store: Place book orders, meet with publishing representatives, buy cards and stationery, meet with staff, organize the store, recommend books, troubleshoot, receive shipments of books and thrill over new releases with employees. At home: Accounting, more e-mails, update Web site, work on newsletter, look through next season’s publishing catalogues and fit in a good book before bed.

What are you currently reading?

“The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet” by Reif Larsen. It’s a charmer of a book that will be released this spring. I also just finished my first Michael Connelly book, “The Lincoln Lawyer.”

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

I recently read “Uncommon Reader” by Alan Bennett. His protagonist (the Queen of England) found that, in person, one’s heroes aren’t necessarily as dazzling or interesting as you might imagine. So while I admire the accomplishments of, say, Leonardo Da Vinci and Bill Gates, I’d rather have dinner with our store’s nonfiction book group, who are all very interesting and very nice people.

What do you do for fun?

Read, travel and, more recently, go geocaching with my son.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

I’m still working on that one.