The annual event, now in its third year, includes nine San Diego bookstores that will showcase the unique niche of the indie bookstore. Prizes, swag bags, stickers, pins, buttons, arts and crafts, author presentations, book signings, contests, and of course the best in books, will be offered to those who relish aimlessly perusing between aisles of books.
“It’s time for passports to get stamped, collect cool totes and meet amazing authors,” said Amy Hesselink, manager of La Playa Books at 1026 Rosecrans St. “We are excited with our giveaways and games to celebrate a weekend devoted to loving your San Diego bookstores. We love it! We meet people who are totally crazy about books from San Diego and beyond. Last year we had visitors all the way from Arizona. We even had bikers bike the entire crawl.”
Run for Cover Bookstore, at 4912 Voltaire St., the newbie in the ensemble, is delighted to be a part of a community that has embraced their recent opening. According to its owner, Marianne Reiner, Ocean Beach was ready for a bookstore. Rooted in Ocean Beach as residents, Reiner is determined to be more than just a place filled with books.
“We’ve established relationships to offer everyone more than just a bookstore,’ she said. “We’re making Run for Cover a community hub for inviting authors and hosting events; crafts for children, story time, poetry night, book clubs and of course a great selection of brand-new books.
“We’re so excited to participate in our first book crawl,” she continued.
Crawlers will experience the magic behind the art of hand-selling books along with excellent customer service.
“It’s more than buying a book,” said Reiner. “It’s about talking to customers – our neighbors – to make the community feel like something is happening for them.”
Every bookstore highlights its best and brightest unique to its own brick and mortar edifice.
“Every bookstore offers something different to its crawling customers,” said Hesselink. “We’re hosting Dean Nelson, Point Loma Nazarene professor and author of “Talk to Me,” and Jim Kempton, author of “First We Surf, Then We Eat.”
Run for Cover Bookstore will host a musical quartet to “make it fun,” along with author signings, presentations and crafts for kids.
The bibliophile’s holiday is a typically well-attended event.
“The book crawl is a giant party atmosphere, with crowds and sales better than Christmas,” said Hesselink.
La Playa Books offers a unique stock of used, antiquarian, rare, and out of print books with a sprinkling of new books and gifts.
“Our mission is to keep books and literacy alive in San Diego, said Hesselink. “We’re a community staple beyond the library for people to get their literary fix. We’re a cozy book store where people walk in and chill. You can see their body energy relax. Some even ask if we are a library.”
Participating stores include the Library Shop, Mysterious Galaxy, Warwick’s Bookstore, Bluestocking Books, UC San Diego Bookstore, The Book Catapult, Verbatim Books, La Playa Books, and Run for Cover Bookstore.
Crawlers can pick up passports in any of the nine locations. Purchases made during the three-day event are then stamped on those passports. Five stamps earn a free logo tote bag, plus a raffle entry to win a curated gift bag. Local author and illustrator Susie Ghahremani, the event’s ambassador, designed the crawl’s logo and tote bag.
Those who collect nine stamps will be eligible for gift certificates to each store.
“As I share with everyone,” concluded Reiner. “My book smells better than your tablet.”
For more information, visit facebook.com/events/417339152146901/.