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La Playa Books

1026 Rosecrans Street

San Diego, CA 92106


Monday: Closed

Tuesday-Saturday: 10-6

Sunday: 11-4

Along Rosecrans street, a bookstore in between Beach Community Acupuncture and Dick & Jane has taken over what used to be called Point Loma books. The rows of books that cover the walls have many genres such as travel, literature, or philosophy just to name a few. These books range from well-known authors to old books waiting to be rediscovered. The bookstore is called La Playa Books.

Amy Hesselink, manager of La Playa Books, has a long love for books that she has inherited from her father, who is now 83 years old. Her father is a Point Loma native who attended Point Loma High and lives just up the street from the bookstore. He always wanted a bookstore, so when the previous owner retired. He knew this was his chance.

“It was a dream of his for years to have a bookstore here” Hesselink said, “he’s been waiting for a long time.”

The meaning behind the bookstore represents the part of Point Loma where Hesselink’s father grew up. He is very involved with his community, and she hopes to incorporates that same feeling with the bookstore by offering a variety of different events.

A children’s reading hour to book trades are just a few things that will be offered to the community other than just selling books. Some of the people who work at the bookstore are volunteers such as the retired library science librarian, who comes in and quickly organizes everything. They are fully aware of what is at stake.

In early February, a bookstore in Hillcrest, Fifth Avenue Books, closed its doors due to the lack of print readers. In an article by the Union Tribune, Fifth Avenue Books the store owner was losing more than $1,000 a week.

So, when Hesselink’s father purchased Point Loma Books, she wanted to make sure she was constantly working towards making the bookstore profitable.

“The thing that makes every little bookstore run is its relationship with its community” Hesselink said.

According the American Booksellers Association, November 2016 compared to November 2015, retail sales have been up 1.5 percent in figures released by the Bureau of the Census.

“November 2016 bookstore sales are estimated at $805 million, compared to sales of $793 million for the same period last year.”

Hesselink has staff that consists of many people who assist her in writing reviews on new book releases and helping with the window displays. Maggie Hills, a PLNU graduate, is in charge of staying on top of all the young adult literature trends and children’s books as well.

Hesselink’s cousin, Ann Porter, creates the window displays that grab the attention of locals walking down the street. Mimi Hannan is on top of the new releases of books and writes reviews of them. Hannan’s focal point is more towards contemporary fiction. These ladies have created a bookstore that has a relaxed environment, that will allow you to peek through book that catch your interest.

Something that PLNU students should know is that starting March 1st, La Playa Books will be offering 10% student discount while showing their PLNU student id. Another way they are intertwining with the community is by hosting art shows in their book store.

Currently in the works with three artists, they will turn their bookstore into an art gallery where artists can show of their work and mingle with local San Diegans. Another promotion they have starting this February 16 is books for trade.

Books for trade, only on Thursdays and Sundays, are when you bring in your used books and see if there is anything that will fit into their inventory. Then you will get 25% of the book’s listing price that will then turn into the credit that you can use to buy other books or things they have available in store.


About the author

Victoria Manriquez

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