I was surprised to see how many non-fiction books are available – rows and rows, shelves and shelves of them. La Playa Books, at 1026 Rosecrans St., prides itself in being only one of a handful of “independent” bookstores left in San Diego. Additionally, with only one exception, everyone working there is a long-time Point Loma family resident. The store has long been a dream of Jim Hall, the proprietor and two years ago it came to fruition.
I spent an enjoyable time with Amy Hesselink, his daughter, and found that they are doing everything that they can to bring the community together. They have a few events that they would like to share with you.
Let’s start with the “Point Loma Village Reading, Wine and Conversation Book Club”, which meets the first Monday of every month at The Wine Pub, at 2907 Shelter Island Drive. The two businesses have joined forces and will hold their first meeting of interested parties 6 p.m. on May 7.
The discussion will center around the book “All Our Wrongs Today,” written by Elan Mastai. USA, Today said, “. . . it is instantly engaging – a timeless, if mind-bending, story about the journeys we take, populated by friends, family, lovers and others.” Besides having an enjoyable discussion during happy hour, you can purchase the book at La Playa Books for a 20 percent discount if you join the club.
Another fun experience is a national event, called the “Bookstore Crawl,” which celebrates “Independent Bookstore Day.” There are nine bookstores listed in the “passport” brochure available at the bookstore, and for each one that you visit April 28-29, you get a stamp on the passport. The participating bookstores are all in the general San Diego area, with two in La Jolla, one in Coronado, and the other seven in San Diego.
When you receive four stamps you will earn a tote bag and subsequent stamps allow you to be part of the $225 gift card raffle to be used at a book store. Each store is unique, and every store will be offering different features, from authors, live music, cupcakes, coffee, kids events, etc.
There will be exclusive books and literary items that can only be purchased on that day. Each bookstore will be hosting their own events, so check them out on line for more details. I know that The Living Room will be providing coffee at La Playa Books.
They are also part of the “2nd Thursday in the Village.” Some of the merchants open up their establishments “after hours” – La Playa Books and Encordia 5 to 7 p.m. and Amy’s detox Yoga 5 to 6 p.m. –(a different Amy!) and offer all sorts of fun things, such as live music, food, authors, etc.
I asked Amy how they get most of their books, and she told me that they buy estate sale books; they offer a “trade credit” if you have books that you no longer need. The amount of credit may vary but it is typically 25 percent of the list price of the book. They have “trade-in days” – Thursdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and each customer is limited to two boxes per trade-in-day. Check online for their trade-in policy requirements.
This is bookstore is a place that “offers something for everyone.”
La Playa Books
Where: 1026 Rosecrans St.
Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.