Thanks to the wildly popular "Twilight" novel and movie series, kids of all ages seem to have developed an insatiable appetite for literature, according to Donna Penman, co-owner of the HiDesert Book Oasis used book store.


Penman says she is not only happy that young people are thirsting for a good read but is over-the-moon about how the vampire craze has helped her business to thrive.


"Anything that has to do with fur and fangs will fly off the shelf, especially if it's a book that has been made into a movie," said Penman, who shares ownership of the store with her husband David.


"But surprisingly, classic novels sell really well among kids. It's amazing to see all the teenagers who come in here and buy a copy of 'The Great Gatsby' or 'Of Mice and Men' just because they are interested in reading it. It gives me hope about the future of books."


Penman says she and her husband have always been avid readers and opened their shop in 2012 with the intent of sharing their passion with the community. They also aim to provide a safe and family friendly place for people to explore all kinds of literature without having to pay high prices for new titles.


Inventory at Hi Desert Book Oasis includes genres from romance and self-help to science-fiction and biographies. The store also features a large selection of children's books, as well as a separate room for non-fiction.


"I try to keep a large selection of large print books, too," Penman said. "They can be very hard to find these days."


A large portion of what's in stock at Hi Desert Book Oasis comes from people who donate their used books in exchange for store credit. Penman also scours yard sales and thrift shops for titles that will be of interest to her customers.


"We get a lot of donations and I go through everything to make sure we put only the best books on our shelves," said Penman, a native of Philadelphia. "And when kids come in, I always try to encourage them to recycle their books and exchange them for new things to read."


According to Penman, prices for her books range from $1 for young children's titles to $4.50 for regular hardbacks. Small paperbacks are $2.50 and trade paperbacks are $3.50.


Along with its wide selection of literature, Hi Desert Book Oasis periodically holds book signings by local authors. This summer, the Penmans will host their annual "Books and Beats" concert series. Penman says the dates will officially be announced in June, along with the lineup of musical acts that will appear.


"We invite groups in the community to come out and play on our patio for a couple hours," Penman said. "Additionally, we set up tables and chairs so people can bring their dinner while they are enjoying the music. It's always a nice selection of everything from jazz to country."


Hi Desert Book Oasis is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and is closed on Mondays at 12046 Jacaranda Ave. (in the Pueblo Building directly across from Victor Valley College).


For more information, call 760-948-8200 or visit www.highdesertbookoasis.net.