(LA Trend) — With reduced foot traffic and in-person events on hold, local bookstores are feeling the squeeze. Unlike online stores, these physical shops act as pillars of the community—hosting book signings, open mic nights, stocking local or small-run publications, and allowing eager readers to peruse the shelves.
Shop, shop, shop
In addition to books, many local bookstores have a wide selection of gifts, artisan items, and local souvenirs. Now is the time to do your holiday shopping early and pick up something for everyone on your list. Vroman’s, with two locations in Pasadena, is known for its robust holiday shop and large selection of handmade and small-press greeting cards. Here you’ll find quills, wax sealing kits for your letters, stationery, journals, art supplies, board games, and much more. Shop online or visit the store in-person.
Order online, pick up, in-store
Looking for a limited run or rare book? Many indie bookstores can source obscure materials for you. Stop by Book Soup in West Hollywood or browse their extensive selection of signed books online. Even if book signing events are postponed for you, you can still experience book readings and author talks online via CrowdCast. Pick up your signed copy and listen along from the comfort of your own home. If you’re craving in-person shopping, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with the staff for a socially-distant in-store experience. Masks are required.
Support local authors and artists
Local bookstores are some of the only places you can find indie press publications or local zines. The Flintridge Bookstore in La Cañada also offers in-person services for authors looking to self-publish their works. The store’s Espresso Book Machine makes it easy to turn your manuscript into a professionally bound paperback book with a full-color cover and a black and white interior. Unlike online services, there is no minimum order so you can print a small-run book or create a family history without having to pay for hundreds of copies. The Espresso Book Machine can also be used for On-Demand Books (ODB) which includes a library of over three million, public domain, out of print books, and a growing selection of current releases. On-site staff can guide first-time authors in the publication process and also help with single or small-run book prints.
Customer service that can’t be beat
If you’ve never had to deal with the red tape involved in sending books to an inmate, consider yourself lucky. Many local bookstores will take on the headache for you to ensure that the books you purchased get to the intended recipient. Be sure to ask your local bookstore if they can accommodate these requests and feel good about shopping local while providing reading material to an inmate.
Save on used books
In addition to new and limited release books, many local bookstores have an ever-changing selection of used books. Re-sell your gently-used books at The Last Bookstore and earn credit towards your future purchases. In addition to used literary materials, The Last Bookstore has an extensive record section including CDs and tapes. While you’re there, don’t miss the section dedicated to art books and monographs. This section is filled with coffee table books, oversize editions, and rare finds. Fulfill all your art and entertainment news with one-stop at this iconic downtown institution.
Many bookstores also have coffee shops attached or nearby, making it easy to spend the afternoon shopping then relaxing with your newly purchased treasures. Make an impact with your wallet and help ensure these iconic institutions will be around long after 2020.