By Joan Wojcik
The best “little” bookstore in East Village is the Friends of the Library Bookstore located in the San Diego Central Library located Downtown on Park Boulevard, just adjacent to Petco Park.
As you enter the main floor of the library, the Friends bookstore is immediately visible with its neatly displayed books on the concrete wall, and several book carts lined up in front of the store to entice book lovers to enter the store. Upon entering, there are rows of bookshelves displaying a wonderful variety of books.
One of the first things customers immediately notice is the size of the bookstore — it is very tiny.
Although the store is extremely small, it is jampacked with books, videotapes, sheet music, and magazines. There is something for everyone at the Friends bookstore, as it offers a wide range of options for all reading interests in their merchandise. Classics, biographies, history books, gardening, crafts, cookbooks, bibles, dictionaries, art books, and books for children of all ages are some of the categories found in the bookstore.
The merchandise is priced to encourage reading. Paperbacks are priced as low as 25 cents. Typically, hardback books that usually sell for $15 can be purchased for as little as $2. The majority of the merchandise comes from donations made by private individuals, estates, publication houses, and various organizations. Some of the merchandise is new and others are well loved and well read.
Many of the customers that frequent the Friends bookstore are local residents, tourists visiting San Diego, teachers who want to increase their classroom libraries, children seeking a summer read, and many other patrons dedicated to supporting the Central Library.
Revenue received from the sale of books is given to the Central Library, which uses it to support many of its events offered to the public.
The friendly staff at the Friends bookstore is all volunteers. Most of the volunteers are retired and work at the bookstore out of their love for the library. Volunteers are always needed to support the bookstore.
If you are interested in working at the Friends of the Library Bookstore in the Central Library, apply in person at the store.
Next time you are visiting San Diego’s beautiful iconic Central Library, don’t forget to stop by the Friends Bookstore and buy a book to support the library.