Saturday, February 25, 2012

Small Business Saturday: Footnote Books

Welcome to the first of a new feature I'm entitling, "Small Business Saturdays." Back in November, American Express and some other organizations started promoting the concept of spending money at small businesses on the Saturday following the annual gift-buying orgy known as "Black Friday," here in the States. I said, back then, that I wanted to use this concept as a reason to explore the small businesses in San Diego (and elsewhere) as well as continue to promote them, since they're the backbone of America's economy (one must remember, after all, that nearly every big business was a small business first). 

So, as our first featured small business, let me introduce you to Footnote Books, located in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego, CA. It's a fantastic little used bookstore - and I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of used bookstores. I like my books glossy and new and smelling of fresh paper and ink - and I'll even admit that I was more than a little heartbroken when Borders bookstores went under. Having said all that though, I'll tell you right off that Footnote Books totally captured my heart, with my first step into the shop. 

The modest shopfront on University Avenue.

The shop is small, but has a warren-like feel, with tall, crowded shelves and alcoves with unexpected armchairs, inviting the reader to curl up and lose themselves in a good book.

The shelves were sorted by genre and alphabetical order by author, though there were lots of less orderly stacks of books piled on the floor, near the sections they should have lived. I will note that there was a rather small kids' book section.

The back of the store had a glass case that stored some of the more rare and costly books. A copy of the Bladerunner Sketchbook caught the DH's eye. (A possible future gift idea...he's impossible to buy for.)

There was a fantastic science fiction/fantasy selection, which I'm definitely looking forward to carefully perusing, the next time I'm in the neighborhood.

Books were often interspersed with other random curios, giving the store a sort of curio cabinet feel.

Rowan and Kate sitting in one of the reading alcoves, surrounded by their mama's favorite things (books!).

This store is highly recommended for book-lovers!

Footnote Books
1627 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 294-8455


  1. Ooo la la.. Look at all those books! I bet there are some wonderful gems in those stacks. I can't wait to see more from this series.

  2. I used to live in Hillcrest! It's one of my favorite neighborhoods. Such a cute place and equally cute are your kids! :)

  3. i would probably live in this book shop if i lived in san diego.... nothing i love more than stacks upon stacks of books!

  4. ah, lovely...when I first started working in a bookstore I became fanatical about my own books being in perfect condition (still can't stand dog-eared pages) but came back around to loving the vintage papers, ambience and ingrained memories of a good used book. I love this kind of bookstore too- there's that feeling that ANYTHING could be hidden amongst those stacks looking to be found (I especially like the stores with real live cats!)

    Since I run a bookstore, I heartily applaud this 'shop locally' initiative (or through independents online)! Sure, Amazon is cheap but at what cost ultimately- imagine if it was the only option, and you could never see a book in person without having to order it? shudder...the horror!

  5. That image of Rowan sitting in a book store and looking at his iPad is just too funny :-D