La Playa Books: The Heart of the Community

Located at 1026 Rosecrans street, La Playa Books sells new and used books to the San Diego community and has grown to be a favorite of Point Loma Nazarene University students. For all the book lovers on campus, if you haven’t already heard of La Playa, you have got to make the short trip down Talbot street and check out the quirky and affordable bookstore.

Brennan Ernst, fourth-year literature major, loves the uniqueness of the place. 

“My friend Olivia and I have a tradition where we go to La Playa and buy each other a book for our birthdays. I think one of the reasons we’ve continued to do that is because of the nature of La Playa. I don’t think it would have become a tradition at Barnes and Noble,” Ernst said.

Katie Manning, professor of writing, loves the thrill of used books. 

“Every time I come in, I find something wonderful. Most recently, I found a signed copy of a Linda Pastan book that also had a handwritten note from the author on her own stationery tucked into the middle of the book,” Manning said.

Things like handwritten notes and surprise signed copies are what make a local bookstore special. Rather than feeling big and impersonal, it can become a fixture of the community where you can start your own traditions. 

Supporting an independent bookstore is a great way to keep small businesses running. By pouring back into the local economy, you can help keep all kinds of products accessible and cut down on the carbon emissions that come with shipping. Plus, buying used rather than new is both sustainable and affordable.

PLNU students receive a 10% discount on all their purchases, and get rewards for being a frequent customer. Having the option to buy new or used books, depending on the budget, is a fantastic option for people of all economic backgrounds… especially fitting for the college-student budget.

La Playa will often have a $1 book cart out in front of the store. It’s the perfect eye-catcher that lures a prospective bookworm into the store. “Only a dollar? Well, might as well go see what’s inside as well.”

“I also love that we have new and used books, so it gives everyone a chance to buy the books that they love at the accessibility level that they have. We’re at an interesting spot here in Point Loma, and we get all kinds of people from San Diego coming through here,” said Sarah Holly, assistant manager at La Playa.

She loves working at La Playa because she is an alum of PLNU, and remaining part of the community is important to her. The bookstore has come to feel like home.

The cozy interior is welcoming and colorful, with new and popular books displayed up front and a children’s section at the back. There’s sci-fi, history, poetry, young adult, and a huge fiction section. If you’re willing to search a bit, you might find some hidden gems for only a few dollars. 

La Playa is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m to 5 p.m. You can check them out online (https://www.laplayabooks.com/)  or go visit in person!

Website: https://www.laplayabooks.com/

Instagram: @laplayabooks