The concept of bookstore tourism is rolling into San Diego next month:
the Southern California Booksellers Association is sponsoring a bus tour of
five San Diego area bookstores on Saturday, August 27, geared for
local readers. SCBA led a bookstore tour May 10 in the Los Angeles area--a "sold-out
blast," according to executive director Jennifer Bigelow--but that was
for booksellers and others in the industry.
Participants will pay $40 for the tour and visit Bay Books in Coronado,
Book Works in Del Mar, Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, Warwick's in La
Jolla and Yellow Book Road in La Mesa.
At each stop, the tourists will hear a talk or meet authors as well as
have time to shop. Lunch will be served at the Coronado Historical
Museum's Tent City Restaurant, where Christopher Reich, author of The Patriots Club
will speak. At Yellow Book Road, Kathleen Krull, author of Harcourt's
"Lives of . . ." series, will discuss and sign her books. During the
ride, Liza Palmer, author of Conversations with the Fat Girl
, will talk. The closing reception features authors Alan Russell and Ken Kuhlken, who have collaborated on several books.
Called the "I Feel the Need to Read" tour, the all-day event was inspired by Larry Portzline, the founder of bookstore tourism
who has been running bookstore tours since 2003 and wrote to regional
booksellers associations promoting the idea. SCBA president Terry
Gilman of Mysterious Galaxy, one of the tour stores, "jumped on the
idea," Bigelow said. She noted, too, that members say two association
priorities should be "promoting
to the public the idea of shopping at independents" and the opportunity
to network, both of which bookstore tourism addresses.
The goal for the San Diego trip is to have at least 50 participants,
and already Warwick's has received many responses from a Sunday
newspaper ad. If the bus tour rolls, SCBA will consider doing other
bookstore tours in Los Angeles, Orange County and perhaps, "if we get
ambitious," to Santa Barbara and the wine country, where participants
will visit both bookstores and wineries. Mmmmm.