Bookstore Tour – Warwick’s

Bookstore Tour – Warwick’s

It’s been a very long time since I’ve done a Bookstore Tour. I think because most times I go to a new bookstore, I find myself browsing the books and the atmosphere and forgetting to take my phone out of my bag. Is anyone else the type of person who loves to be in the moment than recording the moment?

However, I made sure to take out my camera for this one. Warwick’s is the oldest family-run bookstore in the United States. Can you believe that one family has owned this bookstore for forever and continues to share their love of books to this day? I mean, I hope one day I’ll have something I can pass down to someone and they’ll keep it around for generations.

When I first stepped inside the store, I was a little confused. The store actually takes up two storefronts. One side of the store is dedicated to gifts and stationery goods while the other is the actual bookstore. I only took pictures of the bookstore side, but I would strongly recommend taking a browse through the gift and stationery side too.

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The bookstore has a beautiful and clean feel about it. The displays are loving put together and they even look jam packed with books. The selection is also very big, so you’ll easily find books bookstagrammers post about all over the store. I absolutely loved the bookish quotes printed on the walls.

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I wanted to grab a tote bag or a mug or a t-shirt with the bookstore’s logo, but the only thing they had were bookmarks given to you when you bought a book. I hate when I leave a new bookstore empty handed, but I also understand that not all bookstores have their own swag. So I set out to buy a book.

As we were wandering around the shop, I saw B in the nonfiction section. He was perusing a book and as a guy that doesn’t read on the regular anymore, I had to find out what he was looking through. It turned out to be Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan. This memoir is supposed to be one of the best memoirs written and also one of the best written on surfing. He was an avid surfer and spent most of his life finding the perfect wave. It’s like the documentary Endless Summer except without an annoying narrator making dad jokes.

When I saw B skimming through the novel, something in me wanted to read it. I knew about the book from bookstagram and it was one of those books that I wanted to read but didn’t know when I would read. So, I decided to pick it up and make it a priority. I also got my souvenir bookmark to go with it.

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Seriously, this bookstore was lovely. They have bookish events and while I didn’t see many seats to just sit and read for hours, it’s definitely the kind of place you can stop at before hitting up one of the cute coffee shops and cafes in the area. Warwick’s is on a pretty big main road in San Diego’s La Jolla Cove. You can easily walk to the beach with your new book if you wanted to as well!

I would strongly suggest checking this place out the next time you’re in San Diego. Not only will you find something to read on vacation, but you’ll support local businesses too.

Have you been to Warwick’s?

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Bookstore Tour: The Last Bookstore, Downtown Los Angeles

Bookstore Tour: The Last Bookstore, Downtown Los Angeles

I haven’t done a bookstore tour in a really long time. I think I was still living in Brooklyn where small bookstores reign gloriously. But I went on vacation and did some road tripping recently and I have bookstores to report back!

Today we’re going to be heading to the West (best) Coast to check out The Last Bookstore in Downtown LA. If you’re not aware, The Last Bookstore is probably one of the most instagrammed bookstores. The reason: because this store is outfitted with artsy bookish displays for you and your friends to pose next to.

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My First Amazon Books Experience

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I was walking to the train the other day from a bridal shower my sister threw for me. The shower was a great time and we walked around and looked at expensive clothes I can never be able to afford.

And as I was making my way down to the train station, I walked across the Amazon Bookstore that recently opened. Oh whoa, this thing is already open? I asked myself as I moseyed to the front door. A security guard open the door for me and I entered the space. Of course I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to check out a major brand’s bookstore. I’ve been buying books with Amazon since Amazon was only about books, but now that Amazon is about everything it just seems a little short sighted to open just a book store.

Nevertheless, I continued into the brightly lit space. I felt like one of the new customers walking into Joe Fox’s “Fox Books.” Everything was beautifully displayed, clean, and covered in books. The coffee from the cafe connected to the store wafted through the air providing the atmosphere with some sort of sensory trigger. Paper and coffee; a deadly combination to any good-willed reader.

The entire experience made me think of You’ve Got Mail and the battle for bookish territory between an independent bookstore and a major corporate book outlet. However, there were some obvious differences between Fox Books and Amazon Books.

I didn’t get the vibe that Fox Books was trying to set up. Yes, there was coffee and books but the store was a little bit cramped. Given the fact that they’re right in front of the Empire State Building, they’re getting way more foot traffic than Joe Fox was getting at his store in the Upper West Side.

I was a little squished against some other book browsers. Moms and dads just watching their kids playing on the Kindle Fires. The aisles were a little cramped and not even two people can pass casually without a few “excuse me”s and “i’m sorry”s. There weren’t floors of books where you can hide out and read for hours without anyone interrupting you. There wasn’t a huge selection of novels from every genre here. I didn’t even see an Amazon Books mug! I would have been all over that.

But I think the biggest and most interesting thing about this store was the selection. I read somewhere that Amazon Books would only stock novels that have been rated and reviewed the most on Amazon and Goodreads. If you’re the social reader that reads a good book every six months, then this will be the store for you. You get to see a great compilation of best-reviewed novels throughout all the genres.

However, if you’re an avid reader getting in about 25-50 books a year you might find this store to be a little underwhelming. All the books I saw on display were novels I’ve already heard of and seen. Some I’ve already read. And as attractive as that is to the average consumer, it’s not that attractive for a daily reader.

The other downside of having only best-rated or best-reviewed is that you’re not going to get those hidden gem novels. You’re not going to find the mid-list novel here. This is really a drawback especially since my mission in life is to share great diverse reads and some of those reads aren’t being read by the hundreds of thousands.

And of course, you can buy any of the Amazon products right at the store. That is if you can get an opportunity to pry a kid off the Kindle Fires to see how they work.

There was definitely one plus, though. You can pay with your Amazon account and if you’re a Prime member, you can get a discounted price. You know when you’re shopping for books on Amazon and you see the retail price  with a strikethrough and a discounted price? Well, that’s what you can get to pay here. To pay with your Amazon account, all you have to do is scan a QR code with your phone and then the cashier just scans your phone. I didn’t even take my wallet out once and contemplate the remorse I would feel from buying six books.

Overall, I think this might be a good hangout for me while I wait for the train. There’s coffee and books for me to browse, but it’s not going to be my go-to spot for books. It was fun and I’ll probably go in there again, but I’m not going to hold my breath that this will replace any other bookstore in the world.


Bookstore Tour – Hoehyeon Underground Market Bookstore


While on my travels in Korea, I wanted to spend some time checking out the local bookstores. Sadly, I didn’t check out any (blame it on the jetlag and laziness), but while walking through the city’s underground shopping centers, I came across a little bookstore crammed floor to ceiling with books.


I could barely fit myself into the store. A narrow entrance led me to books from all different genres, in different languages, and from different countries. The faint sound of classical music playing somewhere in the back indicated to me that this wasn’t just some personal collection unearthed and placed in a small store as storage. This place with a legitimate store with probably some sort of shelving system that I couldn’t discern. It almost felt like a “choose your own adventure” where you are lucky to find something you were looking for. The fun part is that you always find something.