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North Park to host its first book fair focusing on authors, independent book sellers

Verbatim Books in North Park closed to customers but full of books during the coronavirus pandemic.
Verbatim Books in North Park was shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic. The shop’s owners are collaborating with North Park Main Street to host the North Park Book Fair on July 17 to focus on independent books stores like theirs. The store was closed and empty of customers in this May 2020 photo.
(Sam Hodgson/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Book Fair on July 17 will showcase wares from more than 50 small book stores across California. The event is free.

San Diego’s bibliophiles will have an opportunity to support independent book stores and local businesses recovering from the pandemic at an upcoming book fair in North Park.

The North Park Book Fair on July 17 will showcase books from family-owned bookstores across southern California, including stores in Del Mar to North Park.

The book fair is the first of its kind for the neighborhood. The event will feature live music, open mic performances and poetry readings. There also will be food and craft vendors.

The event is hosted by Verbatim Books and North Park Main Street, a business association. More than 50 independent bookstores in the state are participating.

Angela Landsberg, executive director of North Park Main Street, said businesses in the neighborhood had to navigate reopening regulations, grant applications and renegotiate rent deals with landlords in the past year.

“These guys have just rocked and rolled through the roughest year,” Landsberg said. “They’ve been through the wringer and they’re open and happy to be open.”

Landsberg said the demand for a book fair from North Park residents has been around for a while, so the association decided to partner with Verbatim to support independent bookstores and publishers rather than large companies.

“It’s a community of literary hungry people,” she said. “This book fair is a way to bring something to the streets that will be a safe way for (residents) to support small independent bookstores and gather in an event-type environment.”

The free book fair will take place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 30th Street and North Park Way.

Some local book sellers and publishers include The Library Shop, Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, Puna Press, The Book Catapult, Bluestocking Books, La Playa Books, Friends of the San Diego Public Library, Tolteca Press, So Say We All, and more.

“We are hungry for events,” said Mady Richardson with North Park Main Street.

Richardson said organizers plan to follow all state and county COVID regulations during the event to keep people safe.


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