Located at 1026 Rosecrans Street, La Playa Books sells new and used books to the San Diego community and has become a favorite with students at Point Loma Nazarene University. For all the book lovers on campus, if you haven’t heard of La Playa yet, you need to take the short trip down Talbot Street and check out the quirky and affordable bookstore.
Fourth-year literature student Brennan Ernst loves the uniqueness of the place.
“My friend Olivia and I have a tradition where we go to La Playa and buy ourselves a book for our birthdays. I think one of the reasons we have continued to do this is because of the nature of La Playa. I don’t think it would have become a tradition at Barnes and Noble,” Ernst said.
Writing teacher Katie Manning loves the thrill of second-hand books.
“Every time I come I find something wonderful. Most recently I found a signed copy of a book by Linda Pastan which also had a handwritten note from the author on her own stationery tucked in the middle of the book,” Manning said.
Things like handwritten notes and surprise signed copies are what make a local bookstore special. Rather than feeling big and impersonal, it can become a staple part of the community where you can start your own traditions.
Supporting an independent bookstore is a great way to keep small businesses running. By injecting into the local economy, you can help keep all kinds of products accessible and reduce the carbon emissions that come with shipping. Plus, buying used rather than new is both durable and affordable.
PLNU students get 10% off all purchases and earn rewards for being a frequent customer. Having the option to buy new or used books, depending on budget, is a fantastic option for people from all economic backgrounds…especially budget-friendly for students.
La Playa will often have a $1 book cart in front of the store. It’s the perfect eye-catcher that lures a potential bookworm into the store. “Only a dollar?” Well, you might as well go see what’s inside too.
“I also like that we have new and used books, so it gives everyone the opportunity to buy the books they like at the level of accessibility they have. We’re in an interesting place here in Point Loma, and we get all kinds of people from San Diego coming here,” said Sarah Holly, assistant manager at La Playa.
She loves working at La Playa because she is a PLNU alumnus and being part of the community is important to her. The bookstore felt like home.
The cozy interior is welcoming and colorful, with new and popular books displayed up front and a children’s section aft. There’s science fiction, history, poetry, young adult, and a huge fiction section. If you’re willing to search a bit, you might find some hidden gems for just a few dollars.
La Playa is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can consult them online (https://www.laplayabooks.com/) or visit them in person!