California Gets What It Deserves: A Bookstore Day

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California Bookstore Day arrives tomorrow, looking to do for our local, indie booksellers what Record Store Day just recently did for our favorite purveyors of vinyl: inspire appreciation for the tangible, tactile nature of a medium that is perennially (and prematurely) declared dead, whilst generating much needed fandom and finances for the ever-struggling retailers of said medium.

Along with a genuine desire to celebrate bookish people and bookish culture and bookish businesses, Cali Bookstore Day comes equipped with tasteful marketing collaborations in the form of thirteen exclusive, print-based objects made by participating authors, sponsors, and artists to be offered for sale by participating bookstores. Notable amongst the custom items created specifically for the day is a tall, accordion-fold book with ten new contributions from the California section of McSweeney’s (pictured above); an original full-color giclee print of California literary settings created by 3 Fish Press; and a Cali-themed tote bag with a design consisting of all the words from A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (pictured above).

Nearly one hundred bookstores across the state are involved, each offering a slew of happenings from author readings to workshops to sales for their own cadre of literary patrons. Within Los Angeles, though our county borders are filled with publishers and book retailers, only seven L.A. booksellers are officially involved in the statewide event. They’re listed below, along with those notable functions that any self-exclaiming book nerd may want to attend.


Book Soup
Beginning 6pm, Beth Lapides presents UnCabaret, a great show featuring Los Angeles-based authors Cindy Chupack, Jeff Garlin, Jen Kirkman, and Richard Kramer reading from and discussing their books.

Los Feliz

Skylight Books
From Noon to 10pm, one of our favorite eastside bookstores, Skylight, will host an “Ask a Zinester” table, populated by friendly folks from the L.A. Zine Fest and Razorcake magazine.<br>


Begining 4pm, ImproTheatre, inspired by authors Raymond Chandler and James M. McCain, will bring to life stories of the mysterious and scandalous Los Angeles of the 1940s and 1950s.

Book Alley
Pasadena’s finest used bookstore won’t be holding any special events, so they might just serve as a nice, quiet place to browse without constraint or reservation.

Distant Lands
Beginning 1pm, join Larry Wilson, Jill Ganon, and Petrea Burchard—three Pasadena literary luminaries (and contributors to Literary Pasadena: The Fiction Edition)—for a panel discussion on the anthology, writing and living in Pasadena, and related topics.

Santa Monica

Diesel, A Bookstore
Start the day off by enrolling in a literary scavenger hunt at Diesel, and enroll in a raffle to win special gifts and prizes.

Small World Books
The unique bookstore in Venice will be hoping to set you up with a “Blind Date With a Book” — a table display offering wrapped, anonymous books at deep discounts whose identities are only revealed upon purchase.


Hammer Museum Bookstore
Though not on the list of official Cali Bookstore Day participants, Hammer Museum invites you to browse and buy from their amazing collection of monographs, offered at 30% off for the special occasion.